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The Bottom Line Report – Understanding Rising Special Education Costs in Massachusetts and the Real Cost to State Taxpayers

Between 2006 and 2012, special education costs in Massachusetts increased by 56% compared to 36% for all of public education.  As the educators of students with the most severe disabilities, C766 schools are often blamed for what appear to be high tuition prices.  maaps is pleased to release The Bottom Line Report which sheds new light on C766 schools as the low cost, high quality providers of special education services in Massachusetts.

State legislators and the public deserve to know the facts about what is causing the increase in special education costs and who provides the most cost efficient. The facts contained in the attached report clearly demonstrate that C766 schools have substantially lower costs than public schools and educational collaboratives.

The Bottom Line Report demonstrates that:

  • C766 school costs are 35% lower than school districts and educational collaboratives.
  • Public school and collaborative salaries are 44% higher than C766 school salaries.
  • State taxpayers pay public school and collaborative fringe benefit costs at a rate of 36.72% compared to 23.54% for C766 schools.
  • State taxpayers subsidize public school pension payments by $107 million a year and collaborative pension costs by $8.5 million year compared to no cost for C766 schools.
  • Collaboratives have an unfunded actuarially accrued retirement benefit liability which could be as high as $224 million.

In addition to having lower costs, C766 schools provide the highest quality, intensive education and treatment services.  This is evidenced by the fact that C766 schools attract over 1,600 students from across the U.S. and around the world due their unparalleled expertise.  The tuition payments for these students make a net contribution of $189 million a year to the state economy.

C766 schools provide unsurpassed education and treatment to the Commonwealth’s most disabled students.  The Bottom Line Report demonstrates that they also provide outstanding value to the Commonwealth’s taxpayers.

For a copy of the report, please CLICK HERE