Report: Special education system in Michigan under-funded by mil - WNEM TV 5

Report: Special education system in Michigan under-funded by millions

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SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

A new report found that Michigan is among 23 states the government says needs assistance with the special education system.

This after report shows it is under-funded by roughly $700 million.

Kathy Steward is Superintendent of the Saginaw ISD.

“We know that there’s been a serious gap in funding for special education students in our county that’s existed for decades.”

She is not surprised by the findings of a new report highlighting the funding crisis.

The report, released by Lt. Governor Calley’s Office, said the state needs to step up money for special education. The report attributes poor academic performance among special education students to a shrinking budget for each individual pupil.

“There is a gap of about $750 though in funding right now for special education students that local district budgets have to pick up.”

School districts throughout Michigan have to pay for special education funding, no matter how much it costs.

“Districts have to make serious considerations. What are they going to go without to fund programs that are required by state and federal laws?”

Stewart wants to see schools get more money to fill the void. But she doesn’t think a millage is the answer.

“We should look from the state and the federal government for help in this, and not put that pressure on our local residents and property owners.”

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