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Claremont, NH: Keeping SPED students in district will save $90K per child

Mar 9, 2019, West Lebanon, NH, Valley News: Claremont to vote on refined budget in Tuesday elections https://www.vnews.com/Claremont-to-vote-on-school-budget-other-appropriations-23942318 When residents go the polls Tuesday to vote on the school budget and other appropriations, School Board Chairman Frank Sprague hopes they fully understand the different approach the board and administration took this year in developing the $35.3 million spending plan and the close attention paid to trimming spending where possible…. These costs include salaries and wages under previously approved negotiated collective bargaining agreements, increases in health, dental and employee retirement costs and out-of-district placement of students. Those increases, built in for next year, total more than $800,000. The spending increase in the $31.8 million operating budget is about $330,000, or 1 percent, above the current school year. …Most of the personnel increase is for a new special education alternative program at the elementary level that school officials say will save the district money in the long run and be a better educational model for students. The proposal would have up to 12 students in two rooms with teachers, mental health workers and a social worker. Benware said by keeping special education students local, instead having them travel as much as 90 minutes each way to receive services, it could save the district about $90,000 per student and also provide an improved educational environment with the students being closer to home and learning with their peers. “It is an investment in education,” Benware said at the Feb. 6 school deliberative session. …