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Portsmouth, NH: 27% increase in SPED costs added to school budget

Jan 30, 2018, Seacoast, Portsmouth, NH: BudCom supportive of school spending plan http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180130/budcom-supportive-of-school-spending-plan Although members of the Budget Committee expressed concern about the proposed 6.7 percent increase in the Fiscal Year 2019 municipal budget, members at a recent meeting expressed overall satisfaction with the school budget -- which as proposed is up 4.7 percent despite a nearly 27 percent hike in special education. The school budget has really not changed significantly since it was first unveiled in early December. In order to meet needed increases in the special education program, none of the schools are adding staff, all have largely level funded their budgets and up to seven positions systemwide will be eliminated. The SPED budget includes funding for two professional specialists hired this current year on a contract basis, with funds for the positions secured by imposing a systemwide spending freeze on nonessential expenditures. School Committee Chair Julie Eneman told the committee that if special education were taken out of the equation in next year’s proposed budget, overall increases would average 2 percent…..