Special Education and Poverty ← Student Needs

Special Education and Poverty

It is already unfortunate for children with special needs to find themselves coping up with pressures because their conditions are being ignored by family and society. They are often treated normally, or worst, disciplined to change. Among those who experience this is

primarily coming from impoverished families who cannot afford to take these children to special ed schools that can address their needs and prepare them for the future.

With the social issue of poverty, this is a concern that should be ignored because children with special needs must be affiliated within an institution that is specially designed to help them learn and grow. Despite of the misconception those United States families are far better than any other family from other impoverished countries; the fact is poverty is not exclusive for them alone because it is also a social issue for high-developed countries. Sadly, impoverished people are not exempted from having children with special needs.

Given the high cost of special education today, these children are often neglected and are often forced to join other regular children in a public school that these people can afford. It is sadder if these children are coming from those members in the community who are homeless and have to resort to shelters that do not even offer special education for them. According to the paper of Regina L. Enwefa, Stephen C. Enwefa and Robert Jennings entitled “Special Education: Examining the impact of poverty on the quality of life of families of children with disabilities”, the most common effects to these children would involve inability to afford special ed schools because of low income, unavailability of funding for grants, access to proper nutrition, and poor development of their social well-being” (2006). These are the issues that must be addressed in as far as the provision of special education for children with disabilities or special needs are concerned.

As a worthwhile development, government is trying to provide assistance for these individuals and children and is trying their best by analyzing and designing funding opportunities so that children with special needs who are coming from poor families could also enroll in a proper special ed school. To guarantee proper funding, the government are trying to assess proper distribution of funds through “adjusting special education funding based on student poverty where a funding amount is determined based on whatever general formula is being used and then these allocations are further adjusted based on a ‘poverty factor’ where such a factor could take varying forms, but the basic idea is that districts or states with higher percentages of students in poverty receive more special education funds” (Parrish, 2001).

In turn, once funding is available and effective programs are matched by special ed schools will be complemented with such resources, children with special needs would not be deprived of what is appropriate for them. As individual members of the society, these children must be given equal opportunities and should not be left out because among others, they can also contribute a significant part to the society if they are developed and educated properly.


Enwefa, Regina L., Stephen C. Enwefa and Robert Jennings (2006). Special Education:

Examining the Impact of Poverty on the Quality of Life of Families of Children with Disabilities. The Forum on Public Policy.

Parrish, Thomas B. (2001). Special Education in an Era of Reform: Special Education Finance.

American Institutes for Research. Palo Alto, California.


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