Many school districts in Ohio are receiving about twice the amount of federal funding they received last year for special education, and many are reducing the amount of local money they spend on special education so they can shore up their budgets. Last year, the state loosened its requirements to allow more flexibility for districts to use the money this way -- increasing the percentage of eligible districts from 8% to about 99%. This is drawing criticism from special-education advocates who say students with special needs are getting shortchanged.

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