There are two kinds of parents--special needs parents and those that aren't. If you are among the latter count your blessings. I am a special needs parent and we are fortunate to live in Darien. I could not imagine having my 10 year old daughter stricken with a rare and devastating disease such as rasmussen's encephalitis in a third world country, a rural part of the US where quality care and services may be difficult to obtain, or a nearby town where the needs of these children take a back seat to other priorities.
A critical service available in Darien is the special education programs and one reason why Darien is a sought after community in which to live. Without these programs this group of special kids' education would suffer and hence their path in life would be materially impacted. With the recent passing of the 2012-2013 town budget the special education budget is justifiably under scrutiny due to an escalation in cost. According to press accounts just about everyone is up in arms and dissastified about its outsized cost.
I searched the internet for articles and references on the special education budget and the available information is superficial. The year over year percentage increase in the special ed budget and the deficits that need to be plugged are frequently mentioned, but not much else. Insightful analysis as to what specific items are driving the costs ever higher and if there are imbedded structural rigidities that guarantee outsized escalations in cost are not readily found. One factor mentioned is that we are transporting and paying for out of town services for our kids with needs that cannot be met here in Darien, but what else is behind the numbers?
Send me a link or an article to help to firstname.lastname@example.org For more on rasmussen's encephalitis go to www.rechildrens.org.