W. Canaan, NH: SPED biggest driver in school budget; 24% of students are special needs

Dec 5, 2018, White River Junction, VT, Valley News: Special Ed Drives Up School Budget West Canaan [NH] — Officials at the Mascoma Valley Regional School District plan to present voters with a small budget increase for the coming year, with additional costs going to fund special education services. The Budget Committee on Monday voted unanimously to send a $27.7 million budget proposal on to a formal hearing. The spending plan for the five-town district amounts to a 1.7 percent, or nearly $460,900, increase over the current year’s, with an additional vote expected on a support staff contract. … The largest spending increase is a $282,861, or 4.5 percent, rise in special education funding, needed to serve several students who recently moved to the district, Business Administrator Debra Ford said. The district currently is in a spending freeze because it has overspent its special education budget by about $100,000, Ford said. The School Board also has decided to retain $500,000 for any additional unforeseen special education costs. … The district has 274 students [24% of students] receiving special education services, with 15 of those children requiring care outside of district schools, according to minutes from the Budget Committee’s Oct. 29 meeting. Mascoma had a total enrollment of 1,143 students at the beginning of the school year, according to the state Department of Education….