Oct 11, 2005 — According to a state report issued this week, twelve percent of the students in New York's public schools are enrolled in special education programs. Children living with disabilities are expensive to educate. Their services often cost twice or even three times as much as a child in general education programs. Advocates here in the North Country say the pay-offs are worth it. Many children who might have been unproductive and unemployed are now learning important life and job skills. Some are able to go on to college. But even supporters of disability education programs agree that Federal support for local school districts is lagging behind. A new set of Federal mandates is set to go into effect this year. As Brian Mann reports, local taxpayers are likely to pick up the tab.