Lakota is about the same size, but spends $23.5 million less on special ed than Dayton, where 1 in 5 receive aid.
For one private duty nurse at Gorman Elementary School, the school day begins not at the schoolhouse door but at her student’s home, where she dresses and feeds a severely handicapped child. Then she rides the bus with him to school.
The student’s class has a teacher and two teaching aides for six students, in addition to the private nurse and two school nurses on duty. All of this, by law, is paid by Dayton Public Schools. For more several severely handicapped students, Dayton spends more than $50,000 a year.
Half an hour down the Interstate 75 toward Cincinnati, Lakota is a sprawling school district in a fast-growing suburb that last year passed Dayton to become the seventh-largest school district in Ohio. But although Lakota is similar in size to Dayton, its students — and the district’s responsibilities because of them — are completely different.
Where Dayton has 20 percent of kids in special education, Lakota has 9 percent. And by one Ohio Department of Education poverty measure, 65 percent of Dayton’s students qualify as poor, while just 8 percent do in Lakota.
Elliott also compared administrative spending.