Search

Mars Hill, ME: 'SPED costs go up almost every year because we tend to have more kids with needs'

Mar 31, 2018, Presque Isle, ME, The County: Special education costs a perennial concern for school districts https://thecounty.me/2018/03/31/news/education/special-education-costs-a-perennial-concern-for-school-districts/ SAD 1 provides special education to 18.5 percent of its students, more than the state average of 16 percent and national average of 12 percent. The district is set to spend $3.48 million on special education in the 2018-2019 school year, up from $3.07 million this school year and $2.5 million in the 2016-2017 school year. While the factors behind special ed needs are numerous and complex, the costs of providing the special ed services are a challenge many districts are grappling with, according to Denise Bosse, SAD 1’s special education director. “This is probably the hardest issue we have,” Bosse said. … While service center communities like Presque Isle or Bangor often have higher rates of special education needs, it’s also a concern for smaller districts. At SAD 42 in Mars Hill, 20 percent of students receive special education services, a majority of them for speech and language needs, said superintendent Elaine Boulier.Special ed costs go up almost every year because we tend to have more kids with needs,” Boulier said. “Our biggest cost driver is kids who have to go to a specialized private school. It is a huge expense.”