When It’s Your Own Child: Some Surprising Views from Parents about Special Ed

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This report highlights the responses of a national random sampling of parents with special-needs children and is timely in light of the special education debate in Congress. Approximately 13 million American children are enrolled in special education, at an average per-pupil cost of $12,000 a year. According to the report, 67 percent of parents surveyed are pleased with the quality of education their children receive, and 69 percent feel that the stigma associated with special needs is dissipating.
Yet an overwhelming majority of parents are troubled by the difficulty of addressing the individual needs of their children, and most are convinced that special education could have been avoided through early intervention. The report is a useful tool for formulating policy and adjusting programs. 35 pages. $10. Public Agenda, 6 E. 39th St., New York, NY 10016. (212) 686-6610, www.publicagenda.com.