In just one year, the number of special-education students in Pennsylvania has jumped from 287,000 to 294,000, a big chunk of the state's 1.8 million public-schoolchildren. The specialized care many of these pupils require costs plenty, and much of the bill goes to the local districts.
To help them out, the state is proposing changing the rules to allow local boards to set their own limits on class sizes and to allow children to be evulated less frequently. The reaction from parents has been predictable - they're panicking, fearing that governments are trying to economize by denying their children an opportunity to learn. Despite the costs, our sympathy is with the parents, for two reasons.
No one chooses to have a special-needs child; most parents who do would gladly pay any price to have it be otherwise. And from the taxpayers' point of view, it makes sense to deal with these children's needs early, when research suggests it's easier to do so.