Childrens Report Card

Sacramento County Childrens Coalition

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Special Education

Although a mandate, Special Education is not a fully funded program for school districts. Therefore, decisions must be made by school districts about how much they want to augment special education budgets with general fund revenues.  As such, utilization of special education services does not necessarily match the likely demand for services.

Special Education Enrollment

demographics 4a
demographics 4b

Why is this important?

  • Special Education services are needed to help foster success in the school environment and allow for advancement that may not otherwise be possible.
  • Special education is a mandate that is not fully funded, meaning that resources to cover special education must come from school districts’ general funds.

How are we doing?

  • More than 1 in 10 students in Sacramento County public education are enrolled in special education programs.
  • The proportion of students enrolled in special education in Sacramento County public schools has remained steady over the last decade at about 11% of the total student enrollment.
  • Enrollment in special education is, at least in part, dictated by service slots available. Therefore, the enrollment number may be a product of capacity rather than need.
  • Tracking of special education needs remains inadequate.

Special Education Enrollment Ages 0 through 5

demographics 4c2
demographics 4d

Why is this important?

  • Readiness at the time children enter K-12 improves success throughout the school years. Identifying and addressing special education needs at early stages helps prevent challenges from amplifying or becoming absolute barriers over time.

How are we doing?

  • Slightly more than 2% of all children age 0-5 are enrolled in special education programs.
  • The number of children age 0-5 enrolled in special education has increased by nearly 25% over the past decade.
  • Improved assessment and availability of services has contributed to this increase, but it is unknown what unmet need still exists.

Special Education by Disability Type

demographics 4e
demographics 4f

Why is this important?

  • There are a breadth of special education needs, each necessitating particular interventions and resources. Because special education is a mandate that is not fully funded for school districts, school districts are faced with challenging choices about which services, and at what level, to fund.

How are we doing?

  • While enrollment in many of the categories has remained fairly stable over the past decade, three categories have seen substantial growth:
  • Enrollment due to autism has more than tripled
  • Enrollment due to Other Health Impairments (including chronic and acute health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.) has more than doubled
  • Enrollment due to Multiple Disabilities has nearly doubled.
  • Special education programs have been among the first targets for budget cuts.

Data Source: California Department of Education

Last Updated on Monday, 24 June 2013 10:45