The Central Virginian

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Louisa County wary of growing private school expenses for special needs

Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 10:20 am

Louisa County government and education leaders are trying to slow down spending on private school placements for students with special needs, one of the fastest-growing elements of the county budget.

But to do so, officials need buy-in from state legislators. They also face resistance from parents who believe private settings are the best place for children with severe autism and other emotional, intellectual and learning disabilities.

The number of local students who attend private schools using Children’s Services Act (CSA) funding is currently about 34, according to Christian Goodwin, Louisa County administrator. These are students who have completed an evaluation process in Louisa County Public Schools, through which educators have determined they don’t have the staff or facilities to give those children the services they need.

Some 870 students, or 18 percent of the student body, in Louisa receive some kind of special education, Carla Alpern, LCPS director of pupil personnel services, said. But only a fraction are deemed eligible for private placement.

To read the entire story, see the Nov. 16 edition of The Central Virginian.