What does it cost to conduct the programs of special schools for youth with moderate and severe mental retardation within an urban public school setting? What resource components contribute most to these costs? And who bears the financial burden of these costs? This article reports (a) some of the issues inherent in addressing these questions and (b) some benchmark cost estimates for two special schools located within a metropolitan area of the Midwest. It also illustrates an accounting framework that individual school districts might want to replicate for assessing service costs and for use in their internal decision making.