The state of the art of rural special education.

  • D I Helge
  • Published 1984 in Exceptional children


ABSTRACT The rural special education context is unique because of the distinct environment and the variety of rural school subcultures. However, little information about rural special education is available prior to the late 1970's, partially because federal agencies lacked a working definition of "rural._" Although rural and urban special education service environments vary greatly (especially in personnel turnover, transportation, community structure, geography, students served, communication, teacher qualifications, and resource availability), urban service delivery models historically have been recommended and unsuccessfully applied to rural schools. A study of special education services in 75 rural districts and cooperatives in 17 states shows significant improvements in the programs and services offered and in the types, ages, and numbers of students served after implementation of PL94-142. However, major service delivery problems remain in the areas of funding, staffing, teacher certification, and preservice education. In addition to reducing resistance to change, special education collaboratives can help solve rural service delivery problems by offering cost savings through shared staff, programs, and resources. However, collaboratives must be carefully operated; successful strategies will involve decentralized services, staff roles that emphasize networking, and clearly established goals and responsibilities. The report concludes with 13 recommendations for rural special education policy. (SB)

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Cite this paper

@article{Helge1984TheSO, title={The state of the art of rural special education.}, author={D I Helge}, journal={Exceptional children}, year={1984}, volume={50 4}, pages={294-305} }