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Southington, CT: 26% of budget is SPED due to "growing need"

Jan 31, 2019, Southington (CT) Observer: BOE proposes budget, 4.58 percent increase http://southingtonobserver.com/2019/01/31/boe-proposes-budget-4-58-percent-increase/ The Southington Board of Education unanimously adopted its 2019-2020 operating budget of $100,216,856 at their Jan. 24 meeting. This comes as a 4.58 percent increase from last year’s adopted budget, though board members and school administration point out that the last two fiscal year budgets had funding “below current level of services” due to budget cuts…. “It will allow the school district to meet its contractual obligations, while still providing services that are required to meet all federal and state mandates,” he said. “The proposed budget addresses the most significant needs of the district in an incremental fashion, so that a number of programmatic areas can be improved over the course of several years.” The superintendent’s proposed budget featured about 73 percent for regular education, about 26 percent for special education, and about a half a percentage for major projects and equipment. About 80 percent of the whole budget funds salaries and benefits of employees. According to officials, SPS has not hired any new personnel in the last three fiscal years. With the newly adopted budget, the schools will be able to hire world language teachers for the elementary schools and the high school, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) coach, a math specialist, special education teachers at both the elementary and high schools, and a psychologist…. Connellan said the special education services, as well as counseling and psychological services, had been requested to meet a growing need for students requiring specific types of instructional services….