Is it more expensive to serve students with disabilities in a private school than in a specialized public school? The answer is no, based on a new report issued by ASAH, a not-for-profit organization of private schools and agencies in New Jersey.
The new state school report cards detail performance and cost data for every school district in New Jersey, including dozens operated by county special services districts. Data show that costs at these programs can approach $90,000 per student because the costs now include, for the first time, such items as debt service for school construction projects, federal funds and state payments on behalf of districts for pension, Social Security and health care costs for retired teachers.
The ASAH report shows that, when it comes to educating students with complex disabilities, it costs taxpayers 44% less when those services are provided by a private school than when they are provided by a specialized public program.
Still not convinced? When viewed together with data showing that graduates of private schools do better than their public school peers on key outcome measures, you can begin to see the benefits of private special education.
State-approved private schools must be supported as part of any education reform agenda aimed at reducing costs and improving outcomes. For more information and/or a copy of the ASAH report, visit www.asah.org or call (609) 890-1400, ext. 12.