June 27, 2021, Greenwich (CT) Time: 'Volatile' special education outplacement costs continue to rise in Greenwich, Stamford https://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Volatile-special-education-outplacement-16275085.php
The trend is easy to spot: On a chart of district special education outplacement costs over the last five years, there’s been a steady, persistent increase.
In 2016-17, Greenwich Public Schools spent just under $5 million in special education outplacements and tuition settlements. By the current school year, the total cost had risen to $7.5 million, a 50 percent increase. And in each of the last five years, actual costs have been higher than the amount budgeted by the district.
This year, Greenwich was able to utilize COVID-19 relief funds to avoid asking for a special appropriation to cover the difference. But outplacement costs continued to escalate in Greenwich and elsewhere, causing uncertainty as districts try to balance budgets while providing educational services for students.
“This is one of the most volatile portions of most school district budgets due to the many unknowns and limited control,” Board of Education Chair Peter Bernstein said. “Ultimately we need to remember that this is about serving students and their individual needs.”…