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York, ME: SPED cost overruns; budget increased 26% "to reflect the real numbers"

Sept 10, 2018, Portsmouth, NH, Seacoast Online: York schools to hire analyst to review SPED programs http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180910/york-schools-to-hire-analyst-to-review-sped-programs YORK, Maine -- With special education still a concern among parents and school officials alike, school Superintendent Lou Goscinski said recently he expects to hire an independent firm this fall to conduct an analysis of the school department’s SPED programs “through an objective lens.” … … They will be looking at programs we have now, staffing patterns, special education and regular education interaction, what is causing disproportionate out-of-district placements and alternatives to out-of-district placements.” … Special education issues and cost overruns have presented a challenge to the school district for several years. In the past two years alone, the money spent far exceeded funds budgeted, as the program meets the federally mandated requirements of special education. Cost savings in other areas mitigated those overruns. Another year of overages is expected to be avoided in this fiscal year that started July 1, because the special education budget went up 26 percent to reflect the real numbers necessary to run programming and pay for out of district placements. …