Manchester, NH: "Significant budget hike" mostly because of INCREASED SPED COSTS

Feb 1, 2018, Manchester (NH) Union Leader: Newport School District proposes budget increases The school district is proposing a significant budget hike, mostly due to the increase in special education costs, according to Superintendent Cindy Gallagher. … The proposed operating budget for 2018-19 is $18,641,564, a $930,320 increase from the current spending plan of $17,711,238. According to Gallagher, the majority of the hike is due to increases in special education costs, including funding for students who changed to out-of-district placements, for two special education teachers who were funded through a special education grant last year but whose salaries were moved into the upcoming operating budget, as well as funds for autism services in the middle high school. Gallagher said it is difficult to anticipate special education needs from year to year. “The problem is that we never know who will change placement. This year alone, we’ve added more than 8 students to out of district placements who were not budgeted for in 2017-18,” Gallagher said in a statement. Gallagher also attributed increases to an additional elementary school teacher, a technology integrator to support district-wide instruction and money to support social and emotional services in the elementary school. The annual school district warrant includes 11 additional articles, five of which have tax impacts, including Warrant Article 8, which requests the district raise and appropriate $233,000 for an autism program in the Middle High School. This would have an estimated tax impact of 54 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.