Monday, September 05, 2005

Special education costs rise $25 million

The cost of transporting and educating DC's special education students is costing the District $25 million more than previously planned.
In an Aug. 15 memo to the D.C. Board of Education and Superintendent Clifford Janey, DCPS Chief Financial Officer John D. Musso cites the District's current $25 million liability for non-public school tuition as "the largest and most serious" of several budget pressures.

Musso attributed the school system's overspending in the current fiscal year primarily to the tuition costs and expenses for transporting special education students to their programs outside the public schools. At the end of July, according to Musso's memo, only two-tenths of a percent of the school system's transportation budget remained unspent, with 16.67 percent of the fiscal year left.

"It is anticipated that we will be able to meet all of the spending pressures that currently exist through utilization of a myriad of gap closing strategies," Musso wrote. "As of date, all current gap closing strategies have been successful, anticipating that the budget will be balanced at year end, resulted in a small surplus."

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