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In North Carolina, Funding Gaps are Shortchanging Students with Special Needs

Cleveland County Schools’ Exceptional Children Director Nellie Aspel, who is charged with managing all of the moving parts related to the education of her school district’s special needs students, has had to stretch a slim budget in ways that keep her up at night.

“We’ve really had to push the limits,” said Aspel. “We use outdated technology, we only replace our physical therapy equipment when it’s literally falling apart, and I frequently have to hire part-time staff with no benefits to care for and educate my students with special needs, something that I hate to do.”