Ohio Special Education Cost Study

Preschool children seated in a circle raising hands

Ohio is committed to ensuring positive and meaningful educational experiences for students with disabilities that will lead to academic and postsecondary success, but what are the costs of meeting this goal and how do those costs align with the current funding formula?

The Ohio Department of Education contracted with AIR to identify best practices for providing special education and related services to students with disabilities and to estimate the costs of implementing those identified best practices. The best practices and associated costs for screening and initial identification for preschool-aged children was also included to inform state funding decisions.

The study drew on the experiences of expert practitioners in a professional judgement panel approach to identify best practices for special education and related services for students in each disability classification, along with the costs associated with implementing the identified best practices. Additionally, this study compares the current Ohio student funding formula with the estimated costs of implementing best practices to inform state discussions around potential changes in state funding policy.