The Senate adopted a budget amendment #142 sponsored by Senator Brownsberger titled “Extraordinary Special Education Costs.” This amendment would make $500,000 available for communities, like Watertown, in which “special education costs exceed 25 per cent of the total district costs and in which tuition and other circuit-breaker eligible costs for placements at an approved private school located within the district exceed both $1,000,000 and 25 per cent of all tuition and other circuit-breaker eligible costs for placements at approved private schools.”
This language is similar to an amendment in the house that was adopted with modifications, sponsored by Representative Hecht and Representative Lawn. The senate and house versions are different – the house version uses last year’s parameters to distribute $250,000, and the senate uses updated parameters to distribute $500,000.
This is the third consecutive year that this funding has been made available through budget amendments: $350,000 was made available in FY15 and $500,000 was made available in FY16.
The differences between the two amendments will be reconciled in the budget conference committee.
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger