Misleading Budget Point of the Day II
This is a continuation of the series I began here, outlining misleading or incomplete points that have been included in School District #15's annual budget mailing:
- (p. 5) It is noted that "The State Education Department mandates that District 15 provide equal levels of service...to students residing within district boundaries". The implication is, of course, that the district is abiding by this mandate, and in fact does provide equal levels of service to all students residing in district boundaries. The problem with that fact is that in reality, the district's public school students qualify for one of those state mandates services, Special Education, at a rate that is more than double that of private school students. And even that number is misleading in that district private school children further outnumber district public school children by 50%. So by extension, in reality children attending district public schools receive special ed at a rate of closer to three times that of district private schools. That number is hard to understand, however, without some background. How many kids from each community were evaluated for services and denied? Of late, I have heard many anecdotes of increasingly aggressive denial of services to non-public school students, and though those are worrisome, I am reserving judgement on the veracity of those rumors until I see some hard evidence. That said, with the numbers showing the disparity that they do, I do feel it is the responsibility of the district to show some sort of evidence that private school students are receiving approval for their special education needs at an "equal level of service" to that of public school students, as mandated by law.