Many people assume that education for the disabled is expensive. If you have a deaf child, getting them access to the right programs is essential. Most parents would be willing to shoulder any cost to ensure their kid gets a quality education. However, education for the deaf is actually more affordable than you may realize.
What Determines the Cost of Education for Deaf Children
How much schooling for a deaf child costs depends largely on whether the student will attend a public or private school. Public schools are bound by various federal and local laws, including some that govern education for the disabled. Offering suitable services for deaf children is mandatory, to a degree. States have to provide free appropriate public education (FAPE) to students who are deaf.
Private schools aren’t required to be tuition-free. While all private schools may have to accommodate deaf students or provide education for the disabled, they don’t have to do so without a cost. Further, they usually have control over their tuition rates, so the private school decides how much they want to charge. While they might not be able to charge more for students with a disability, as that may be deemed discriminatory, they aren’t required to lower tuition costs either.
Public School for Deaf Children
If you have a deaf child and enroll them in a state-run school, including specialty institutions for deaf students, you won’t pay anything above what a traditional public school student does. For example, there won’t be any tuition costs. However, like the parents of all public school students, you may have to help cover extra costs, like those associated with field trips or certain extracurricular activities.
Public schools are required to align with FAPE requirements. However, what constitutes as FAPE can vary. Schools with deaf students have to make reasonable accommodations to ensure the student can learn. Additionally, efforts usually have to be made to educate deaf students in a regular educational environment, when possible. As long as any supplementary aids and the severity of the disability don’t harm the learning experience for the other students, the removal of a deaf child from a regular classroom by a school might not be allowed.
However, parents may choose to put their deaf child into a specialized school. In some cases, there are state-run schools for the deaf. If your child qualifies for entry, there are usually no additional tuition costs. These are still public institutions, so the educational expenses are covered. Otherwise, parents may have to explore private schools for special education.
Private School for Deaf Children
Private schools for deaf children may charge tuition. How much it costs is determined by the institution. In some cases, the education programs are offered at no cost. Usually, schools that are tuition-free support their operations through donations or endowments alone.
However, not all private schools are free. On average, tuition for a private school costs more than $10,000. However, some private schools (not necessarily specifically for disabled students) charge up to $85,000 annually for tuition alone.
In many cases, there are other expenses to contend with, as well. For example, tuition may not cover room and board, making a private school education even more expensive for students who live on campus.
It’s important to note that many private schools for the deaf do have programs to help lower-income families afford tuition. They may use a sliding scale to reduce the burden based on a household’s income, offer institutional scholarships or grants to offset the expense, or use other approaches to make the cost manageable.
Education For The Deaf Depends on Public or Private Schools
Ultimately, how much an education for a deaf student costs depends largely on whether the child goes to public or private school. With many public schools, there are no costs beyond what any other public school student’s family would have to shoulder. With private schools, it can vary. Some are tuition-free, while others are not. For those that charge, rates can be anywhere from a few thousand dollars a year to tens of thousands of dollars annually.
If your child is deaf, it is vital that you remember that you do have options. You can get a quality education without having to pay for anything. However, there can be benefits to a private school education. Determine what you can afford and what’s best for your child. Then, use that information to make a decision.
Do you pay more money for the education of a deaf child? Do you find the cost hard to manage? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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