Friday, February 14, 2003
SPED costs grow disproportionately at CCHS
At the CCHS budget hearing on February 5, FinCom members noted the disproportionate growth in the cost of mandated special education (SPED) Programs. SPED comprises 17% of the FY04 budget and is growing at a rate of 21.9%, versus a growth rate of approximately 7% for all other expenses. Currently, there are 194 SPED students that the school district must fund out of an enrollment of 1208 students at CCHS.
In a Progressive Policy Institute/Thomas B. Fordham Foundation study, SPED cost increases in Massachusetts have been attributed to "the increased number of children with more significant special needs who require more costly services."
The school district has adopted progressive policies, such as early intervention and in-district support, to control costs. However, federal and state regulations mandate the nature of services, and hence cost. Unless requirements are changed, the school district will face the choice of either dramatically increasing future school budgets or significantly reducing programs and services for regular instruction.
© 2003 The Carlisle Mosquito