Main content

Alert message

The following information is from postings to the AERNET listserv and DVH-S listserv and was gathered in February 1997. This information was not verified by the actual schools so there may be inaccuracies, however, this information does demonstrate that states vary widely in how funding at the specialized school is handled.


State budget and in addition "voucher" money for each student. The state gives the voucher money to the specialized school instead of the district. No actual cost to district, however, they loose the voucher funds for that student. Out of state/country pay a tuition rate established annually.


State pays majority of tuition for specialized school. Local districts pay 10% of the cost differential to educate a student. (Example, the district pays $5,000 to educate a non-disabled school, the cost of the specialized school is $50,000, the difference is $45,000 so the district pays 10% of this which is $4,500).

Maryland (private school):

Receives 85% of funding from a state grant each year. $100 each semester for a Maryland resident who is educated at the school. If you only count 185 students educated on campus then cost is $55,000 per child. However, they have summer programs and other services and when you count all this cost per child drops considerably.

New Jersey (private school):

School districts pay all costs for day students (estimate cost $35,000). For residential students the residence fees (estimate $17,000) is paid by either the NJ Commission for the Blind or the district (debate at present over who should pay).

New York:

State funded. No costs to districts. Districts do receive less state aid (the cost of educating a non-handicapped student) when they send a student to the specialized school. The district pays the transportation, but is reimbursed by the state.


State budget for the specialized school so no cost to state residents. If a student in a district must go out of state for services, the LEA must pay the cost.


School is state funded. District must pay a "token" cost for educating a student at the specialized school. This is the same amount as it would be to educate the student in the local school district if he/she was nondisabled.


School funded by state. No direct cost to the district. Estimated costs: residential $32,000, day $25,000. If count ALL students receiving some form of services from the school then cost drops to about $8,000 per student.

For out of state students there is a tuition rate charged to that student's district.

Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum
University of Arizona
Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation
520-621-3299 (Office) 520-621-3821 (FAX)

Go to Top of Page