The economics of preschool special education under Public Law 99-457.

By Barnett, W. S. (1988).

State policy makers face important choices in responding to P.L. 99–157 that will greatly affect the future course of preschool special education and have important educational and economic implications. This paper reviews the current situation in preschool special education: who is served, how they are served, and what it costs. It goes on to examine how alternative responses to P.L. 99–457 might alter who is served and what kinds of programs are provided. It is argued that large expansions in the population served and significant changes in the types of programs offered may be warranted. The available choices are shown to have different economic implications and a strategy is recommended for developing state preschool special education polices that take into account costs as well as benefits.