Information about a Special Education Student
Sampling Instructions for (189 KB)
Survey (209 KB)
Each special education teacher or related service provider is asked to complete information about two randomly selected special education students: one high incidence (if they have any in their caseloads or classes), and one low incidence. This questionnaire adds a significant dimension to our data collection in that it focuses on the expenditures for educating a student with disabilities rather than the expenditures on special or general education programs per se. The questionnaire begins with two sections that solicit basic information about the child and his or her needs. The first section focuses on the basic characteristics of the child, such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, and disability category, while the second asks the teacher or related service provider to complete a simplified assessment of the child's functional abilities (using "The Abilities Index" developed by Rune Simeonsson of the Frank Porter Graham Children Development Center).
These data on student background and abilities will then be combined with detailed information on the intensity and types of services received. Sections 1 through 6 ask for details about the settings and types of services each child receives. These services include the general education classroom (i.e., self-contained versus departmentalized), the special class, the resource program, related services, community-based programs, other educational program services (e.g., Title I), extended-day programs, transportation, and summer school. Within each of these modules, we ask about types of services received, the amount of time spent by various professionals, class sizes and caseloads, and the presence of other types of staff. We ask about the extent to which services are received within the regular classroom versus separate or segregated classrooms or settings.
Finally, we ask about the lists of specialized furnishings and equipment necessary to provide and support services to this child, and about how many other children share the same equipment. These data will be combined with price data that we will obtain from a centralized source. Using an estimated useful life for each item and alternative social rates of discount, we will then estimate an annualized cost for each. Dividing this by the number of children who commonly share these specialized items, we can provide an estimated cost of specialized furnishings and equipment related special education.
These data on time and intensity of various personnel and non-personnel services will be combined with salary and benefit information to estimate the expenditures used to provide all educational services (i.e., general and special education) to each selected child. These data on expenditures will be related to individual child background and ability characteristics, and to various school and district characteristics that might affect the way services are provided.