Center for Special Education Finance
The Special Education Expenditure Project

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Thomas B. Parrish
Ed.D., Managing Research Scientist, Deputy Director, Education and Human Development Program, American Institutes for Research (AIR)-Director of CSEF

[Photograph of Thomas B. Parrish] Dr. Parrish combines expertise in education research and project management with direct experience as an educator. In addition to more than twenty-five years of experience leading and participating in a variety of educational policy studies, he spent five years teaching students with learning difficulties from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Education cost analysis and finance are areas of specialization for Dr. Parrish, who has a broad range of experience directing and providing leadership for projects in this area.

At AIR Dr. Parrish serves as the Deputy Director, Education and Human Development Program. He also serves as the Director of the Center for Special Education Finance (CSEF) which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The center is involved in research addressing the national agenda for special education finance and in conducing state and federal studies on the impact of special education finance reform. Dr. Parrish's work focuses on key issues related to special education finance, conducting studies that inform these issues, and providing presentations and consultation to special educators and policymakers across the U.S.

Current AIR projects include establishing special education adequacy standards for New York State. This project, funded by the Atlantic foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Gates Foundation includes direct interaction with teachers and special education administrators from around the state. A second project, currently being completed for the Office of the Independent Monitor for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), documents the related services being received by a large sample of LAUSD students. A third project for California is an evaluation of the Implementation of Proposition 227, which specifies instructional program provisions for English learners.

Recent publications include "Special education in the city: How has the money been spent and what do we have to show for it" in the Journal of Special Education Leadership, "A Study of the Kentucky Schools for the Deaf and Blind" for the Kentucky State Board of Education, and a chapter on "Racial disparities in the identification, funding and provisions of special education," recently published by the Harvard Education Press. He also co-edited and contributed several chapters to Funding Special Education, a book released by Corwin Press.

Dr. Parrish received his doctorate at Stanford University in Educational Policy and Administration, where his dissertation focused on special education cost and funding issues in California.

Send e-mail to Tom Parrish.

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