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Dartmouth, MA: District increasing focus on social/emotional needs of "growing numbers of students"

April 15, 2018, New Bedford, MA, South Coast Today: Dartmouth officials gather to discuss town’s fiscal 2019 needs http://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20180415/dartmouth-officials-gather-to-discuss-towns-fiscal-2019-needs School budget The Dartmouth School Committee was looking for input on its proposed fiscal 2019 budget of $43 million, a 2.8 percent increase of funding over fiscal 2018, Assistant Superintendent for Finances & Operations James Kiely reported. “It is primarily a level services budget,” about $1.1 million more than appropriated this year, Kiely said. Superintendent Bonny Gifford said a few new positions were proposed in the budget, mostly dealing with the district’s increasing focus on the social and emotional needs of growing numbers of students. Most of the new positions called for in the public school district are for counselors, therapists and support specialists, the superintendent said. Dealing with the ups and downs, mostly ups, of rising special education costs is an ongoing financial challenge, Kiely said. …