Skip to content

Meriden Record-Journal: Meriden schools face budget freeze due to reduced special education reimbursements

 -  Crystal Elescano, Meriden Record-Journal

The school district is under a “budget freeze” after the reimbursement percentage of the special education Excess Cost grant decreased due to the increase in special education services districts provide to students.

Meriden was expecting to receive a reimbursement of 91 percent after funding students who were in need of special education services. But the state is now giving the district 72.8 percent of the total amount spent.

Connecticut spends nearly $2.7 billion every year on special education services, according to a press statement from the School+State Finance Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit policy organization. Through the Excess Cost grant, local and regional school districts are eligible for partial reimbursement.

“Special education can mean a student who needs to see a speech pathologist, every now and then, which is very common and not a huge expense comparatively,” said Michael Morton, deputy executive director for communications and operations for the School+State Finance Project. “But it can run from something as relatively minor as that to a student who has severe or has significant physical or mental disabilities and may need to be educated in an outplacement facility.”