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Our Focus for March & April...
Myth: High-Cost of Inclusion

In almost every school or district where we conduct inclusive practices training, we often encounter the same assumptions about cost and staffing requirements.
  • “If we are to be more inclusive, we will need to pay for special education teachers.”
  • “We must not have a sufficient number of paraeducators – we have many students who require one-on-one support.”
  • “Where will we get the money to implement inclusion – it surely will cost more than what we are doing now.”
  • ”With inclusive education, every class will need a co-teacher and we don’t have enough special education teachers to go around.”
These misconceptions about the operational realities of inclusive practices often stand as barriers to real progress when including students with disabilities in the general education classroom.  They often reinforce existing practices that exclude many from the least restrictive environment, create “places for students" outside of the general education classroom, and maintain the status quo. With the strain on educational funds and resources experienced by almost every school district during the past three years, it is expected that educators use current resources wisely and avoid wasteful spending.  In almost every instance of concern over the cost of inclusive education, there are other factors at work that limit our view of the opportunities and possibilities. In the March/April edition of Inclusive Schools Network newsletter and website, we focus on the myth of the high cost of inclusion.  
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  Thank you,
  Frances Stetson, Ph.D.
  President, Stetson & Associates, Inc.

This classic study from the Center for Special Education Finance still provides relevant information about financing an inclusive education model.
 
The American Institutes for Research (AIR) offers this pocket guide to assist policymakers and educators when considering changes to this law in relation to improving results for students with disabilities (SWDs).
NICHCY, the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, offers comprehensive and user-friendly overviews of disability and education laws including summaries, legal analysis and training materials.
 
This legal website houses information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities including a section on LRE and Inclusion.
Scholastic offers a brief summary of six models of collaborative team teaching including pros, cons and examples of each model.
 
The Arc of Texas offers Dr. Lisa Dieker and Dr. Wendy Muranski's  workshop presentation outline which provides information about various co-teaching models, resources and tools to support inclusive practices. 

The Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) offers a free online newsletter that highlights the research of its centers including the National Center for Special Education Research. 

On April 2 every year, please join the global autism community by celebrating World Autism Awareness Day, which was declared in perpetuity by the United Nations in 2007. Please join us at www.lightitupblue.org. For more information about the 6th Annual World Autism Day please visit their website. You can also follow their Facebook page for celebration ideas.
"Cost Cutting Opportunities," written by Frances Stetson, Ph.D., was published in the March/April 2012 online issue of Principal Magazine. You can view the article HERE. Don't forget to download your free resources!
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