March 6, 2013
We found that school districts have had to divert revenues from general education aid and local operating levies to pay special education costs. We also found there are disincentives to controlling costs of special education. We recommend changing funding arrangements to reduce school district reliance on general education revenues to pay for special education. We also recommend that the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) identify feasible cost-control measures for school district use. Many Minnesota laws and rules exceed federal requirements on special education, and we recommend analyzing economic and educational impacts of potential changes before modifying state requirements. We recommend that MDE work to improve teachers’ understanding of its compliance-monitoring process and continue efforts to streamline the paperwork required of special education teachers.
*Supplemental Item (This did not appear in the printed report.)