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Weston, CT: SPED transportation costs "rose from $462,930 to $805,025 in one year"

Feb 25, 2020, Westport (CT) News: Weston selectmen vent frustration with schools budget https://www.westport-news.com/news/article/Weston-selectmen-vent-frustration-with-schools-15083381.php Amid the Board of Selectmen unanimously recommending a 2.5 percent increase for the schools budget, members again expressed frustration with the education board’s budget process and rising transportation costs. The Board of Education’s proposed $54 million budget — a 2.89 percent increase over last year — had been previously scrutinized due to the appearance that board members and Schools Superintendent William McKersie were not on the same page with costs. McKersie had originally asked for a 5.5 percent increase. The selectmen’s recommendation also came with concerns about increasing transportation costs in the district. “We are having conversations about laying off teachers, closing sections, making class sizes larger. ... I looked at two books because I didn’t understand it and I was able to say, ‘Hey, this doesn’t make very much sense,’ ” Selectwoman Samantha Nestor said at the Feb. 20 meeting, noting special education transportation costs rose from $462,930 to $805,025 in one year…. “We were as concerned as anyone at this very large number,” he said, adding the district was also analyzing unanticipated special education students’ ridership for this fall…. “I think it was a real eye-opener to see the level these costs went up in a short period of time,” he said….

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