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SPED Costs New Haven, CT

Feb 3, 2017, New Haven (CT) Register: Special education costs drives up Ansonia’s school budget http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20170203/special-education-costs-drives-up-ansonias-school-budget The Board of Education recently approved a $32.3 million budget for the 2017-18 school year. The budget represents an increase of $837,252, or 2.7 percent, from the current budget. The increase, according to the school district’s interim Business Manager Frank Connolly, can be attributed to several items, including skyrocketing special education costs, loss of a state grant and additional staff for the portable classrooms the district is poised to have in place at Mead School this fall. Special education tuition alone for next year has increased by $1.5 million, according to Connolly. Those costs are beyond the board’s control, and anytime a special education student moves into the district, but cannot be educated within Ansonia schools, the district must pay the tuition, no matter the cost, to educate the student outside the district. “Special education costs are the one major, uncontrollable expenditure that boards of education face,” Connolly noted. … “In our current school year, there are 530 special education students; they comprise 20 percent of the total student body (in and out of district) of 2,626 students,” Nimons said. “However, the total special education budget comprises 29 percent of the total current budget, or almost one-third of the total BOE budget. In effect, the mandated special education programs are adversely affecting the general education budget.”