Non-public special education programs: Evaluating the costs of within school alternatives for students with emotional disturbance

Eric Slade, Carrie Mills, Dana Cunningham, Nichole Hobbs, Christianna Andrews, Mark Weist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Evaluation of the costs and associated budgetary savings of schoolbased mental health program alternatives to non-public education program placements is a task made increasingly necessary by external pressures on school districts' budgets. The purpose of this article is to present information from an assessment of costs and related savings associated with an innovative school mental health program that provides intensive mental health and case management services in a regular public school setting. The program is designed to avert non-public placements of students in special education identified as emotionally disturbed. We estimated a program total cost of $7,212 per student per year, or $30 per student per day. This cost was associated with a total savings of $31,826 per student per year, or $133 per student per day averted. These estimates suggest that intensive school mental health programs could in many instances offer a financially viable alternative to non-public placement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in School Mental Health Promotion
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Keywords

  • Challenging behaviors
  • Cost consequences
  • Economic evaluation
  • Restrictive placement
  • Special education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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