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Rochester, NH: Increase in SPED costs leaves school budget with $1M deficit

Feb 1, 2018, Portsmouth, NH, Foster’s Daily Democrat: Rochester schools face likely $1.2M budget shortfall http://www.fosters.com/news/20180201/rochester-schools-face-likely-12m-budget-shortfall The School Department is looking at a potential budget deficit of more than $1.2 million because of several factors, including an influx of special education students with out-of-district school placements. … “I’m shocked,” Superintendent Mike Hopkins told the committee Thursday while specifically addressing the special education portion of the fiscal year 2018 deficit. Increased special education costs are the biggest driver of the deficit, according to Hopkins. The district budgeted a combined $5,739,340 for tuition, transportation and related services for special education, but based on current spending rates Rochester is projecting it will actually spend $6,664,539, or $926,199 over budget. Hopkins said numerous special education students have recently moved into Rochester, and many of them have individualized education plans (IEPs) that call for their local school district to cover the costs of tuition and transportation to an educational program outside of Rochester. …