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Balancing Special-Education Needs With Rising Costs

For decades, parents of special-education students nationwide have been able to seek private schooling at no extra cost at public expense when public schools fail to meet their needs. Court rulings over the last decade have strengthened that right, and the city now spends more than $200 million a year on such education, up from just a few million dollars a year in the 1990s, when requests were far rarer.