As Families Look For Inclusive Schools, Texas’ Funding System For Special Ed Creates A ‘Perverse Incentive’

Families and researchers agree: Children with special needs often do better when they’re integrated in general education classrooms. But Texas gives schools more money if children with disabilities are separated from other children.

By Laura IsenseeNovember 21, 2019 10:16 am, , ,

From Houston Public Media:

Stretched out on their living room floor, 4-year-old Ayaan Agha and his father Tab piece together a puzzle made up of numbers.

Ayaan calls them out as he fits them in their place: 12, 14, 2!

“Good job! Good job!” Ayaan says.

Ayaan is on the autism spectrum with moderate symptoms. He can do very complex puzzles, but he has limitations with his communications and social skills, Agha says.

What’s made a big difference with his speech and social interactions is his pre-kindergarten class at Neff Early Learning Center, a Houston public school that offers early education through first grade.

There, Ayaan attends class with children of all abilities. He’s not separated with other children with disabilities. And it’s not just his class. The entire campus with over 600 students follows an inclusive model for education, where all children learn from each other.

Read more.