LETTER TO THE EDITOR: School Committee Concerned Over Possible Shortage Of Special Education Circuit Breaker Funding

(NOTE: Below is a letter from Wilmington School Committee Legislative Representative M.J. Byrnes which was recently sent to the town’s state delegation — State Rep. Jim Miceli, State Rep. Ken Gordon, and State Sen. Bruce Tarr.  It’s shared with permission.)

Dear Representative Miceli,

On behalf of the Wilmington School Committee, we would respectfully request your advocacy and support for adequate and appropriate funding of the Special Education Circuit Breaker Fund within Governor Baker’s proposed Supplementary Budget proposal that is currently before the State Legislature.

It is imperative to the vitality of Districts to ensure Circuit Breaker funding is included in the Supplementary Budget being proposed. Any reduction in Circuit Breaker funding would negatively impact a District’s ability to charge Special Education tuitions against these funds, resulting in a larger impact to the utilization of local appropriation funds. With schools working furiously to increase and create new initiatives to support social and emotional health, anti-bullying and safe schools, the lack of such funding will stunt these very important and much needed programs.

Furthermore, it also places unfair and unnecessary financial stressors on Districts. Between continuing technology upgrades, contract negotiations, appropriate staffing within classrooms and enhancing security measures to keep our staff and students’ safe, the lack of appropriate Circuit Breaker funding will put many of these needs at jeopardy, and risk not providing effectively for our students, our most vulnerable population.

We respectfully request you to continue to advocate on behalf of our public schools for funding of not only the Circuit Breaker line item within the State’s supplementary budget, but adequate and appropriate funding in the FY19 State Budget.

Sincerely Yours,

M.J. Byrnes
Legislative Representative

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