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December 11, 2017 06:04 PM

Sioux Falls School District Special Education Funding Down

Sioux Falls, SD

A new finance audit is one of the topics on the agenda for the Sioux Falls school board meeting.

The audit shows funding for the year and numbers that are lower than previous years, specifically in special education. 

The Sioux Falls School District special services covers a wide variety of children with disabilities and the program is getting bigger every year. 

"A little over 200 students and 137 impacted the amount of state aid that we received," Director of Special Services Deb Muilenburg-Wilson said. 

The 2017 finance audit sent out by the school district shows the amount of funds on a local level for special education have gone down.  According to the school district that was the plan. 

"We did some deficit spending. We knew that was going to happen.  It was planned; it was no surprise to us.  We also have a plan how that will be done by FY19 and so far everything that's happening is according to what our plan was," Muilenburg-Wilson. 

Along with the local revenue from taxes coming in, there are other dollars that come into play. 

"You have special education money specific to special education and then that comes from both the state source and the federal source. So there's quite an entanglement of different funds there," Superintendent Brian Maher said. 

The school district says even though the budget has gone down this year, the students' needs will always be met. 

"It doesn't matter what students we collect money for; we still serve anyone who's determined eligible and in need. So we serve those students all year," Muilenburg-Wilson said. 

"The planning budget for the special education budget parallels the planning budget for the general fund budget. It's just always moving forward and it's all based on federal resources, state resources, and really the number of students we have in the program so it would go up or down depending on how many students we have in the program," said Maher. 

The audit is being presented to the school board and decisions about other parts of the budget will be made. 

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