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Pennsylvania: District sees SPED numbers rise

July 20, 2017, PennLive.com: Pensions, special education and debt: why are these three school districts raising taxes much higher than their peers? http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/07/pensions_special_education_and.html Most central Pennsylvania school districts raised taxes an average of 2 percent in their 2017-18 budgets, but there are a few districts where property owners are seeing much larger increases in their tax bills. Residents of West Perry, South Middleton and Central Dauphin school districts in particular will see their property taxes increase 5 to 7 percent. ... Rising pension and special education costs also contributed to the need for a tax increase, Moyer said. ... Not only has the number of students in the district increased by 660 in the past five years, the district also has seen a notable increase in the number of students who are homeless, have special needs, or need English as a second-language education, McConnell said. In the 2016-2017 school year, Central Dauphin had nearly 11,500 students. Those factors led the school board in May to increase its tax rate by almost 6 percent. … West Perry also utilized an exception for special education costs in its 2017-2018 budget. Superintendent Michael O'Brien said the district has seen the number of students seeking special education services rise over the past few years. …