Audit: Special Ed Program Lacks Accountability
(AJC) — Georgia’s Department of Education is pouring millions into a program for the most emotionally disturbed students, but there is little evidence the special attention is helping, according to a state audit. The state spent $64 million last year on the Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support, a special education program that serves students age 3-21 who have severe emotional or behavioral problems. Across the state, the program’s 24 branches offer instruction in special classrooms at select schools or at off-site locations. In a new report, state auditors raise concerns about the way the Department of Education is running the program. They say more needs to be done to track how these students – about 5,500 statewide – are progressing academically. And they want more accountability over how taxpayer money is spent on the 40-year-old program.