With Special Education costs increasing more quickly than the cost of Regular Education, it was welcome news to learn that Shared Services’ proposed budget includes a 2.47% increase in expenditures, the highest increase in the past 6 years, according to Paula Gladu-Morabito, the program’s Executive Director.
Gladu-Morabito presented her proposed budget for the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year to the Shared Services Committee, made up of representatives from its member districts and Dr. Judy Palmer of Regional #7, the superintendents’ representative from the member districts. Shared Services provides Special Education services to all the Regional #7 elementary school districts, Hartland and Regional #7 Middle and High School; the New Hartford elementary schools district is not a member district, opting to provide Special Education services in-house.
Gladu-Morabito’s proposed budget is for a net program cost of $1,513,286, which shows an increase of $36,468 over the current year’s net program cost of $1,476,818. Under the proposed budget, the cost of Special Ed services to Shared Services’ member elementary school districts and to Regional #7 in the upcoming fiscal year will be split as follows among those entities:
Barkhamsted (equals 17.73% of the students) would be assesssed $291,476.78, an increase of $6,465.78 or +2.27%
Colebrook (equals 6.11%) would be assessed $112,881.19, an increase of $2,228.19 or +2.01
Hartland (equals 14.59%) would be assessed $281,038.68, an increse of $5,32068 or +1.93%
Norfolk (equals 6.83% of the students) would be assessed $143,611.76, an increase of $2,490.76 or +1.76%
Regional #7 (equals 54.74% of the students) would be assessed $684,277.58, an increase of $19,962.58 or +3.00.
Shared Services has projected revenue of $665,229, which includes state grants and unexpected funds of $171,000. These revenues brought down the total program cost from $2,178,515 to $1,513,286.
Cost savings were realized by eliminating the $70,000 expense for Language/Speech/Hearing under purchased Professional Services, and instead adding to the Language/Speech/Hearing professional services provided in house, increasing that line item by $19,561, from $41,646 to $61,207.
Salaries show an increase of 2.65% for certified staff, and a 2% increase for classified and non-certified staff. All staff will see an increase in their share of the cost of insurance premiums, as well as their share of the deductible contribution. The projected increase in the medical rate for ConnectiCare had been estimated to be about 12%; however, that figure was dropped to 8.5% after a meeting with Ovation, the Farmington-based insurance broker that has taken over the Litchfield Insurance Group’s health insurance clients.
The Committee members will discuss the Executive Director’s proposed budget at their next meeting on March 17 at the Shared Services facility on the Regional #7 campus.
Download a copy of the Shared Services proposed budget for the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year by clicking on the following link: Shared Services Proposed Budget, 2014-2015 Fiscal Year.
Shared Services is a Cooperative Education Service Center (CESC) that has been providing specialized services and special education staff and programs to school districts in Northwestern Connecticut for over 40 years. Members include the districts of Barkhamsted, Colebrook, Hartland, Norfolk, and Northwestern Regional #7.