The survey also included fiscal information. The average expenditure for special education preschool services was $7,624 per student for the 2005-06 school year. The lowest annual per student expenditure was in North Dakota ($1,946), and surprisingly, the highest per student expenditure was in Missouri ($13,460 per year per student).
(As an interesting, albeit imperfect, comparison, we should consider the work of the Center for Special Education Finance – CSEF, whose mission is “to address fiscal policy questions related to the delivery and support of special education throughout the United States and disseminate up-to-date information to stakeholders at all levels.” The Special Education Expenditure Project –SEEP – was a major project by CSEF, and it was the first comprehensive, nationally representative study of special education spending conducted in more than a decade. Interestingly, the comprehensive SEEP study conducted on the 1999-2000 school year found that the average per pupil expenditure for K-12th grade was $6,556 in mainstream school, and $12,639 for children in special education).