Harrisburg, PA – Local school districts are picking up more and more of the costs of special education as state funding lags, according to a new report. The Education Law Center says on average the share of special education funding that comes from local districts grew by nine percent over the past eight years.

Reynelle Brown Staley, policy attorney at the center says the gap has been growing because the cost of special education has increased at a rate of about five percent every year. Total spending for special education has grown by more than one-and-a-half-billion dollars since 2009, but state funding increased only in the millions.

Local districts now put in almost $20 for every one dollar in increased special education funding that comes from the state.