Parents protest special education changes

The Ridgefield Press

Three residents, some of them parents of children with special education needs, showed up to the March 11 Board of Education meeting to protest the schools’ plan to stop using contracted services through The Center for Children with Special Needs (CCSN) in favor of hiring full-time staff. “I think this is a colossal mistake,” said John Collins. Collins, who said … read more

Special education, health insurance costs higher than expected for Ridgefield schools

Ridgefield Public Schools have spent, or are obligated to spend, $92.4 million out of its $95-million 2018-19 school budget, according to the January financial report to the Board of Education. The schools are on track to spend the entire $95 million, according to the report, which is submitted monthly by Business Manager Dawn Norton. Costs for special education, legal counsel, and … read more

Superintendent floats shared special education services

Amid rising rates of student outplacement, and rising costs for sending students out of district, Ridgefield Public Schools is looking at ways to share the cost with surrounding districts. “I met with other superintendents Friday, and that was one of the things we talked about in light of this regionalization issue, what can we do to share services?” said Superintendent … read more

Special education: The cost increase that’s tough to cut

Rising relentlessly, special education costs aren’t easily held down — never mind cut — as more students qualify for placement meetings, spend their school days assisted by full-time paraprofessionals, are sent to costly out-of-district programs. Often, special education dollars go to address “social and emotional” difficulties — as opposed to learning disabilities or intellectual limitations. “This is a huge problem. … read more

School board executive committee releases statement in face of budget cap

Editor’s note: The following statement was released from the Ridgefield Board of Education’s Executive Committee Tuesday night. To read more about the district’s budget situation, pickup a copy of Thursday’s Ridgefield Press. The 2018-19 Ridgefield Public Schools budget is significantly challenged by double digit healthcare increases and unexpected special education costs that are in addition to the contractual obligations and … read more

Budget cap might signal more school cuts

A 4.83% increase in school spending? Not so fast. A 2.5% cap on all municipal spending, enacted by the Connecticut legislature last year, could put the brakes on Superintendent Karen Baldwin’s proposed $97.1-million budget for the 2018-19 school year. To get under the cap, the district is considering changing health care providers for the second year in a row and … read more

School board weighs $543,000 appropriation as deficit looms

What would you do with a bag of money?

With a $1.2-million year-end deficit on the horizon, the Board of Education is weighing the prospect of a one-time $543,066 appropriation from the Board of Finance to keep the district’s books out of the red. The idea was raised by Superintendent Karen Baldwin at the board’s meeting on Monday night, Nov. 27, during a presentation on the district’s budget by … read more

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