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Sharon, PA: "SPED costs consume a significant portion of the budget"

June 22, 2019, Sharon (PA) Herald: Sharon board votes to raise taxes https://www.sharonherald.com/news/local_news/sharon-board-votes-to-raise-taxes/article_a579faa8-9495-11e9-ba8e-bfbded5ff9ef.html Sharon City School District board passed a 2019-20 budget that calls for spending $38 million with a 2.78-mill tax hike and using $3.2 million from its fund balance. “We have a pretty significant deficit,” Superintendent Michael Calla said. “Our goal will be to hold the line on spending during the year so that we do not have to use that amount from the fund balance.” BUDGET AT A GLANCE The 2019-20 Sharon schools budget of $38,254,500 (36,425,465) at a glance (2018-19 in parenthesis) SPENDING • Instruction – $23,160,200 ($22,036,640) » Regular programs – $15,598,000 ($15,082,145) » Special education – $6,972,500 ($6,515,720) » Support Services – $9,034,800 ($8,788,975)… Calla said a significant portion of its budget goes to pay cyber or charter school tuition outside the district for students who live in Sharon. “The largest chunk for us is we pay over $3 million dollars in cyber and charter school tuition,” Calla said. “I don’t think most people realize the taxpayer is paying for cyber or charter school. It is free for the family but the school district the child comes from is paying full freight for that child.” Special education costs consume a significant portion of the budget, Calla said. “This past year, we enrolled over 100 students who came to us as already identified special education students, so our budget has to absorb that,” Calla said. “One of the features of the budget is to add one to two more staff members to accommodate students with special needs.”…