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Special Education Stands To Gain Federal Dollars



San Diego public schools will get an infusion of cash to pay for special education services as a result of the federal economic stimulus package. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis explains.

San Diego Unified has one of the highest concentrations of special education students in the country with roughly 17,000 young people.

The students are entitled to a myriad of services under the federal government. However, federal funding that pays for the special services has fallen drastically short over the past several years.

As a result, San Diego Unified spends $80 million of its own money to help keep special education afloat.

School trustee John Evans recently traveled to Capitol Hill to ask for help. He says the stimulus package might give special education in San Diego an extra $29 million over two years.   

Evans: That can make a lot of difference in terms of not having to layoff teachers and so forth. If we were able to have that money. And we were being very specific with them.

But district officials warn they'll still have to dig into the district's budget to cover costs.

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.


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