Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

What's your school's special ed rate?

Earlier this week, a recent UB grad named Maddie Morcelle presented the School Board with a study she'd done on special ed rates in Buffalo's charter schools.

It took her a few months before the Buffalo Public Schools would give her the school-by-school data she'd requested. (For reasons I don't understand, the state does not publish school-by-school special ed rates on the annual report cards. The data is public, but it's not readily available on a website anywhere.)

The data she got was interesting. Not only did she get the special ed rate for every charter school, but she also get the percentage of students at each school whose disability was speech- or language-related. Those disabilities are generally less severe than others in the universe of disabilities, and are among the less expensive to address.

Her study confirmed two things that are generally believed to be true: the special ed rate varies considerably from school to school (in the year she looked at, the range was 4.3 percent at Global Concepts Charter to 20.2 percent at Pinnacle Charter), and charter schools generally enroll fewer students with disabilities than district schools (in the year she looked at, the average was 13.3 percent at local charters, compared to 19.4 percent in the district).

That piqued my curiosity, and so I asked the district for comparable data for district schools.

What I ended up with was the most-recent data available for district schools (2011-12) and the most-recent data available for charter schools (2010-11).

The range in the special ed rates is quite dramatic, for district schools as well as charter schools.

Within the district, Hutch Tech has the lowest special ed rate, at 4.9 percent. City Honors is at 8.2 percent. At the other end is South Park, at 25.6 percent; Early Childhood Center 82 at 26 percent; and Drew Early Childhood Center at 30.1 percent.

(School 84, on the ECMC campus, and the Occupational Training Center both have a special ed rate above 90 percent. Those two schools are specifically designed for students with disabilities.)

The lowest special ed rates among the charters were at Health Sciences (5.5 percent) and Buffalo Academy of Science (8.1 percent). King Center, Pinnacle and Enterprise charter schools were all around 17.5 percent.

Here's the school-by-school breakdown. Schools with the lowest percentage of special ed students are listed first.

School % students with disabilities % speech/ language % students with disabilities, other than speech/language
Hutch Tech 4.9% 0.1% 4.8%
Health Sciences Charter 5.5% 0.0% 5.5%
Buffalo Acad of Science Charter 8.1% 0.6% 7.5%
City Honors 8.2% 0.2% 7.9%
International Sch 45 9.9% 3.6% 6.4%
Buffalo United Charter 11.4% 4.7% 6.7%
da Vinci High School 11.7% 0.0% 11.7%
Applied Technology Charter 11.9% 5.3% 6.7%
Global Concepts Charter 12.3% 4.9% 7.5%
Elmwood Village Charter 12.4% 5.7% 6.7%
Olmsted 64 12.4% 6.1% 6.3%
Westminster Charter 13.0% 5.2% 7.8%
Community Charter 14.0% 7.9% 6.1%
Drew Science 59 14.1% 4.5% 9.6%
Native Am Magnet 14.1% 4.4% 9.7%
Lydia T. Wright 14.2% 3.4% 10.8%
Buffalo Elem Sch of Tech 14.2% 2.9% 11.3%
Performing Arts 14.3% 0.6% 13.7%
Olmsted 56 14.4% 2.1% 12.2%
Waterfront 14.7% 7.1% 7.6%
South Buffalo Charter 14.7% 7.5% 7.2%
Middle Early College 14.9% 0.0% 14.9%
Pantoja 15.1% 3.0% 12.1%
North Park 15.2% 3.0% 12.2%
Math Science Tech Prep 15.2% 1.6% 13.6%
Tapestry Charter 15.4% 2.8% 12.6%
D'Youville Porter 15.5% 5.7% 9.8%
Sedita 15.5% 3.8% 11.7%
WNY Maritime Charter 15.6% 0.0% 15.6%
Discovery School 15.7% 4.7% 11.1%
International Prep 15.7% 1.9% 13.8%
Oracle Charter 15.8% 0.0% 15.8%
Aloma Johnson Fruit Belt Charter 16.1% 8.6% 7.5%
Bilingual Ctr 33 16.2% 5.9% 10.3%
McKinley High 16.3% 0.0% 16.3%
Lafayette High 16.4% 0.0% 16.4%
Highgate Heights 16.7% 4.6% 12.1%
King Center Charter 17.4% 9.5% 7.8%
Pinnacle Charter 17.6% 9.4% 8.2%
Enterprise Charter 17.7% 11.3% 6.4%
School 81 18.0% 5.2% 12.8%
West Hertel 19.1% 5.4% 13.7%
Community School 53 19.1% 3.1% 16.1%
East High 19.1% 0.0% 19.1%
Bennett High 19.5% 0.3% 19.2%
Bennett Park Montessori 19.6% 4.4% 15.2%
Roosevelt 19.8% 11.1% 8.7%
Makowski 20.2% 6.4% 13.8%
Houghton 20.3% 5.9% 14.4%
Riverside 20.3% 0.1% 20.2%
Academy Sch 20.8% 0.0% 20.8%
Early Childhood Ctr 17 20.9% 7.8% 13.1%
B.U.I.L.D. Academy 21.0% 6.8% 14.2%
Hamlin Park 21.2% 2.5% 18.7%
Herman Badillo 21.3% 6.7% 14.7%
Blackman 21.3% 6.3% 15.0%
Early Childhood Ctr 61 21.6% 7.4% 14.2%
Hillery Park 22.4% 7.8% 14.6%
Lovejoy Discovery 22.7% 7.3% 15.4%
Futures Academy 22.8% 6.6% 16.2%
Emerson 23.0% 0.0% 23.0%
MLK 24.1% 4.7% 19.4%
Burgard High 24.3% 0.2% 24.2%
Lorraine 24.4% 7.4% 17.0%
Harvey Austin 24.8% 9.5% 15.3%
Southside 25.4% 6.8% 18.6%
Grabiarz 25.4% 3.9% 21.5%
Tubman 25.6% 4.7% 20.9%
South Park High 25.6% 0.3% 25.3%
Early Childhood Ctr 82 26.0% 5.0% 20.9%
Drew Early Childhood 30.1% 7.5% 22.6%
Erie County Health Ctr Sch 84 92.5% 0.0% 92.5%
Occupational Training Ctr 96.3% 0.0% 96.3%

 

- Mary Pasciak

 

facebook.com/mary.pasciak     twitter.com/MaryPasciak    mpasciak@buffnews.com

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | djgee@buffnews.com


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | tlankes@buffnews.com


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | stan@buffnews.com


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | dswilliams@buffnews.com

Subscribe

Advertisement