Regional
8:08 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Audit Suggests Special Education Overhaul

Legislative auditors are recommending New Mexico revamp special education financing because the current system creates incentives for schools to gain more funding by identifying students for greater services.

About $500 million is spent annually on special education, but a report issued Wednesday by Legislative Finance Committee staff said schools are penalized if they find less costly ways of helping students.

The state provides aid based on a school's determination of the services required for students with disabilities, with more money for those with greater needs.

The report recommends basing special education aid on a school's total enrollment.

Auditors said if funding was based on a national average of special education students, about 15 school districts would lose money, including $8 million for Albuquerque, and aid would increase for 26 districts.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.