Who Pays for Special Ed

Parents want the best for their disabled kids. Public schools say they can't handle the cost

Luke Perkins has been living "two disparate lives," court documents say: one at school in Berthoud, Colo., where the autistic boy was making some progress, and the other outside school, where the 9-year-old was so unruly he could not take part in such basic activities as going to church or eating in a restaurant. He became so destructive at night that his family resorted to locking him in his bedroom, which had been stripped of furniture because he kept smearing feces all over everything.

As with many autistic children, the skills Luke was acquiring in the classroom were not very portable....

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