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Low Income Students More Likely To Be Placed In Special-Ed Programs

A Lowell public school bus passes the Immaculate Conception School in Lowell, Mass. in April, 2009. (AP)

A Lowell public school bus passes the Immaculate Conception School in Lowell, Mass. in April, 2009. (AP)

A new study on the state of special education in Massachusetts will be presented tonight at a Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting.

The findings are expected to provoke serious discussion about the use of special education, especially in the case of low-income districts.

In this first-of-a-kind study commissioned by the state, researchers found that low-income school districts are more likely to place students in special ed programs for mild and sometimes “questionable” disabilities.

The numbers are astonishing: more than 163,000, or 17 percent, of Massachusetts students are enrolled in special education– the second highest rate in the nation just behind Rhode Island.

Guest:

  • Jerry Mogul, Executive Director of Massachusetts Advocates for Children
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