NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – As school districts around the country struggle with ways to close budget gaps, administrators are finding any way possible to save money.

Here in the Delaware Valley, the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit serves physically and emotionally needy students for 22 school disticts in the county.  The districts pay for those services and for transporting the students to and from the facility.

But now, some school districts are deciding to “mainstream” more students rather than paying the expense of the specialized education.

Dr. Richard Balukas, director of special education in the Abington School District, says bringing students back into the classsroom frees up money that can be allocated to other budgetary necessities.

“We’ve been able to realize a cost savings, but Abington, which I can speak for, has turned much of that cost savings into programs,” he says.

He’s quick to add that the students are benefitting from inclusion and parents are pleased with the results, even though it can be a real challenge for teachers handling the students’ special needs.

Reported by Lynne Adkins, KYW Newsradio 1060

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