Somerset special education administrators have introduced a proposed increase of close to five hundred thousand dollars (USD 500,000).
According to Ronald Tarro, Director of Business and Finance of the Somerset School Committee, the additional funding will be directed towards out-of-district help for tuition fees.
Additionally, the District Committee has decided to put forward a proposal allocating more than ninety thousand dollars (USD 91,500) for vehicles and organization, in order to aid special education institutions.
Funding is also needed for an unexpected influx of students with special education needs, who were supposed to be moving on to high school, but have remained within schools in the district.
Somerset special education funding
Special education is one of the most demanding educational sectors to manage. Governments often have problems with securing sufficient financing for providing quality and accessible education to students with special learning needs.
This problem is not reserved for schools in the United States only. Recently, special education institutions in the United Kingdom decided to team up and ask the government for financial help.
In May this year, the committee approved a Somerset special education budget of close to two million dollars (USD 2 million).
Unfortunately, this budget is insufficient if the district wants to provide adequate education to all students in the district. Even if the Somerset School Committee is only responsible for securing the funding for pre-high school special education students, this budget is not going to cover the out-of-district expenses.
While there is an urgent need for funding, some members of the School Committee have raised concerns about the validity of these needs. According to committee member Melissa Terra, it is questionable how these financial needs were not anticipated earlier when the initial special education budget for the year was being discussed.
Even if the request for additional funding comes late, the Somerset School Committee should do their best to take a careful look into the needs of special education schools in the area.