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Wareham, MA: Enrollment decreasing; costs of out-of-district SPED placement going up

Dec 7, 2017, Wareham (MA) Wicked: District asks for $1 million budget increase at $29.4 million; town official says no extra money http://wareham.wickedlocal.com/news/20171207/district-asks-for-1-million-budget-increase-at-294-million-town-official-says-no-extra-money The Wareham School District asked for a $29.4 million budget for the 2018-2019 school year at a public hearing Wednesday night. The proposed budget marks a $1 million increase – or 3.6 percent, from the current budget, said district business manager Michael MacMillan at the hearing in Wareham Middle School. Where are the increases going? There are increased spending areas for classroom teachers, guidance, counseling and testing services, insurance, retirement programs and pupil services. But much of it is in payments to out-of-district schools for special education – for the 2019 fiscal year, the district is anticipating $647,615 more in spending in this category – jumping from $2.4 million last year to $2.53 million projected in 2019. “Our student enrollment is decreasing, this we know, but our special education student enrollment is not decreasing,” said MacMillan.