Public schools identify fewer students as disabled if disability qualifies kids for a voucher to attend another school, concludes a Jay Greene-Marcus Winters’ study released by the Manhattan Institute.
. . . the vouchers check public schools’ financial incentives to identify more students as disabled. Public schools may get additional subsidies when they shift more students into special education, but if they then make students eligible for special education vouchers, they risk having those students walk out the door with all of their funding.
“Nearly 1 in 7 students nationwide is now classified as having a disability,” Greene writes on his blog. The 63 percent increase isn’t caused by a plague of disabling illnesses. It’s about the money.
A previous study found states that pay more for each student classified as disabled showed much higher rates of growth in special education enrollment than states that changed funding formulas to end financial incentives for identifying children as disabled.