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Yankton Schools Sees Rise In Special Education

February 5, 2012, 10:54 AM

YANKTON, SD - While fewer students are enrolled in the Yankton School District now than 40 years ago, the number of
certified teachers has risen by 15 percent.

The increase is due to special education. There are 24 more certified staff employed by the school
district this school year than there were in 1970-1971, and 21 of those are special education teachers.

Former student services director Joyce Wentworth says the change is because students with disabilities are more likely to attend public schools than they were in decades past, when "they stayed home and had the services come to them."

That changed in 1975 when schools' federal funding was dependent on states developing policies to ensure free public education to all children with disabilities.

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