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An analysis of changes in the effectiveness of the special education program and the costs of providing special education services as a result of the implementation of inclusion

Jean Strathie, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

This study examined and evaluated the results of one Massachusetts school district's decision to provide special education services in the regular classroom through the implementation of a model of service delivery commonly called inclusion. This decision caused radical changes in how special education services were delivered to students who had wide-ranging special needs. ^ This study examined the changes in perceptions about whether this new service delivery model was meeting the needs of the students receiving them, given their varied special needs, as well as cost and enrollment changes from 1993 to 1996. ^ The perceptions of the respondents about the effectiveness of the special education services provided through the utilization of the new service delivery model indicated that it did not meet the needs of the students who received them. The respondents did, however, believe that there were increased social benefits for students who have disabilities who received their special education services through the utilization of the inclusion model. ^ There were increases in the costs of providing special education services between 1993 and 1996 that were substantially higher than the comparable costs for providing regular education services. There were decreases in the enrollments in special education programs while, conversely, there were increases in the enrollments of regular education programs from 1993 to 1996. ^ There were also some conclusions that can be presented about whether the utilization of this service delivery model maximized the utilization of educational resources. It did not seem that the inclusion model of providing special education services maximized the utilization of educational resources, nor did it appear that the inclusion model of providing special education services to students who have special needs was a cost-effective way to provide these services. ^

Subject Area

Education finance|Educational administration|Special education

Recommended Citation

Strathie, Jean, "An analysis of changes in the effectiveness of the special education program and the costs of providing special education services as a result of the implementation of inclusion" (1999). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9920653.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9920653

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