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Lynn, MA: District spends $31.5M on SPED; $13.7M over-budget

Jan 18, 2019, Lynn (MA) Daily Item: (Op Ed) TIME FOR SCHOOL SPENDING FORMULA UPDATE Much has changed since 1993 and the days of renting videos from a store, using a landline and smoking with impunity. What hasn’t changed in almost 26 years is a state funding formula for education that public school officials insist — in fact, demand — gets upgraded. Part of the state’s landmark Education Reform Act that included student testing reform, the “foundation budget formula” represents a state estimate of the minimum amount of money needed in each school district across the state to provide students with an education. Education reform through comprehensive testing has been in place for decades but the formula became obsolete years ago. The foundation budget for special education spending in Lynn, according to calculations by the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, is $17.8 million, but Lynn spends $31.5 million on special education, leaving the city with a $13.7 million gap to cover with city spending. The gap between the foundation budget for health insurance spending locally is even wider with the city spending $38.4 million but only receiving a $17.7 million foundation budget. Lynn School Superintendent Dr. Patrick Tutwiler did not sound like he was overstating the case when he underscored “the desperate need” on behalf of the state Legislature to update the formula….
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