St. Cloud, MN: $31M on sped ed this school year

April 12, 2018, St. Cloud (MN) Times: 'It's a crisis situation:' Underfunded special education mandates cost district $11.7M The St. Cloud school district plans to spend about $31 million this school year on special education. But more than $11 million of that will not be provided from federal or state funds. Instead, the district will tap its general fund for those special education costs. With an annual operating budget of $117.9 million, the gap in funding — known as the special education cross-subsidy — is a growing issue. "This is a problem. It has to be addressed and it needs to be addressed soon," said Bruce Hentges, a member of the school board and the board's legislative committee. "It has reached crisis level when you're looking at over $11 million that could be going to regular education." … As of Dec. 1, the district had 2,414 special education students, an increase of nearly 5 percent over last year. Hentges emphasized no one at the district is advocating those requirements be eliminated or lessened. The district is proud of its special education services. But those programs need to be funded, and the district is asking state legislators finally address the problem.