Massachusetts: SPED growth DOUBLE what was expected

Jan 27, 2018, Andover (MA) Townsman: Cut in state funds for special education leaves Andover schools $171,000 short In fact, school budgets across the state are grappling with a gap in funding to the Circuit Breaker program, which helps schools fund tuition for special education students who need out-of-district education. The program only applies to districts paying four times the average suggested spending for a pupil that needs out of district special education, which ends up being approximately $44,000. After schools pay the initial $44,000 per pupil, the program is supposed to cover 75 percent of the rest of the cost of tuition for those students. Over the past five years the program has funded 74.2 percent of the rest of the cost tuition for those students. … "It's really not a cut," explained state Sen. Barbara L'Italien, D-Andover. According to L'Italien, the state had budgeted 4.5 percent growth in claims for the special education Circuit Breaker. It came in at 8 percent, almost double what was anticipated, and therefore the percentage the state could cover dropped to 65 percent rather than the intended 75 percent.