Taxes to support government schools increasingly fund such things as the growing percentage of students with special needs.  In many cases, large sums of tax money are consumed by special education programs that once were reserved for children with physical handicaps.  However, those labeled mentally retarded have declined by more than 30 percent while speech or language impairments are down 19 percent.  What has gone up are the number of students with "specific learning disabilities," such as behavior problems or other learning impairments.  The number of children in this category has increased by 343 percent since 1976.  In addition, whereas the average cost per student in regular instruction is approximately $5,000 per year, the special education student's costs typically range from $10,000 to $25,000 per year and sometimes higher.[45] 



[45]       Benjamin Kepple, "Soaring Growth Of `Special Ed' Kids Raises Questions Of Bias, Unfairness," Investor's Business Daily, 28 September 2000, p A26; and Adrienne Fox, "Disabling Students With Labels?," Investor's Business Daily, 17 March 1998, p. A1.