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Increasing student needs drive special education costs and staff shortage

Rising numbers of young children with severe behavioral, emotional and mental health needs and speech and language issues are driving up school district costs and worsening an already critical shortage of qualified staff and services. That was the assessment of education leaders at three KASB workshops on the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act held in Topeka, Dodge City and Salina at the end of August. Chip Slaven, Chief Advocacy Officers for the National School Boards Association, spoke at the workshops on NSBA’s push to update and fully fund IDEA. He said Congress is considering “reauthorizing” – a review that can...

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