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Lake Travis, TX: District sees "unexpected increase" in SPED population

Feb 19, 2020, Pflugerville (TX) Community Impact: Special education staff increases, sign-on bonuses approved by Lake Travis ISD https://communityimpact.com/austin/na/education/2020/02/19/special-education-staff-increases-sign-on-bonuses-approved-by-lake-travis-isd/ Lake Travis ISD experienced an unexpected increase in its special education population during the 2019-20 school year. Staffing allocations were determined based on an estimated 12% increase, and the actual increase was closer to 29%, according to district information. LTISD has seen annual increases in its special education population, and the department currently services about 1,081 students. Consequently, the board of trustees unanimously approved a budget provision for the addition of three full-time or equivalent staff members for the special education department, which would be immediate hires. … The exact budget implications would depend on turnover and the number of staff hired, Hill said, estimating that the total costs for sign-on bonuses could approximately range from $20,000 to $40,000. The three extra full time positions adds roughly $160,000 to the budget. On a similar agenda item, the board approved sign-on bonuses up to $1,700 for newly hired special education staff. Districts nationwide are experiencing shortages in special education professionals, according to information from LTISD. About 98% of U.S. school districts have reported deficits in special education staff, as stated by a study from the National Colation on Personnel Shortages in Special Education….