The Social And Fiscal Implications Of The Definition Of High-Risk For Pre-K Handicapped Education In Florida

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Educat.D.)


Educational Leadership


Legislation has been proposed in Florida mandating a continuum of prevention services for the State's birth to three-year-old high-risk population. The criteria defining high risk has yet to be specified or surveyed nationally. Based on this need, the fifty states were surveyed to identify, catalog, and classify legal definitions used as a basis for providing services to high-risk children.The responses of forty-nine states were analyzed; twenty-four states responded as having legal definitions of high risk although when evaluated, only thirteen states employed definitions of high risk. Of these, four have entitlement or mandated services while eight report permissive legislation. Four states housed services in the Department of Education (DOE), four in DOE collaborative projects, and five were sponsored in outside agencies.This study provided quantitative data on the number of children to be served as well as the relative costs. Prototypical definitions were derived from the range of criteria currently employed by various states. The fiscal implications of these prototypical definitions were assessed with respect to prevalence of children eligible for services and the projected cost of those services for the State of Florida and its urban and rural subpopulations. With both state and national implications, the fiscal and socio-cultural impact of the definitions of high-risk were determined.


Education, Special

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