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MES  October 1999

MES October 1999

Subject:

Re: Material for Special Education Update: In earlier issues of Moretown Matters, the projected extraordinary increase in high cost special education children at Moretown elementary school was reported,

From:

Roberta Barone <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moretown Educational <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 5 Oct 1999 11:33:32 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (87 lines)

Wavell,
Clarification is well done. RB
----- Original Message -----
From: Wavel Cowen <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 1999 6:34 AM
Subject: Material for Special Education Update: In earlier issues of
Moretown Matters, the projected extraordinary increase in high cost special
education children at Moretown elementary school was reported, with the
expectation that in the next few years special education costs would
skyrocket. The efforts of the Moretown school board to secure legislative
changes in special education funding to help alleviate this anticipated
large funding problem were reported in the last issue of Moretown Matters as
being successful. This good news was premature. Representative Alan Weiss
was incorrect when he informed us that the senate had passed a bill
allocating $2.3 million to deal with exceptional special education costs in
districts such as Moretown. What happened was that Senator Jeb Spaulding,
who was planning to introduce just such a


> The editor indicated that without some explanations, many people would
> simply not understand what we were talking about. I therefore added
> introductory info to produce the following School Board Report. If you
> want any changes (IN CAPS) send them so that I have them tomorrow by mid
> morning since the paper goes to press tomorrow.
> Thanks ..... Wavell
>
> Special Education Update:
> In earlier issues of Moretown Matters, the projected extraordinary
> increase in high cost special education children at Moretown elementary
> school was reported, with the expectation that in the next few years
> special education costs would skyrocket. The efforts of the Moretown
> school board to secure legislative changes in special education funding
> to help alleviate this anticipated large funding problem were reported
> in the last issue of Moretown Matters as being successful. This good
> news was premature. Representative Alan Weiss was incorrect when he
> informed us that the senate had passed a bill allocating $2.3 million to
> deal with exceptional special education costs in districts such as
> Moretown. What happened was that Senator Jeb Spaulding, who was planning
> to introduce just such a bill, ran into a problem when consulting
> Department of Education analysts. Special education costs at Moretown
> were not projected to rise into the exceptional category until 2000-2001
> fiscal year. On that basis Jeb dropped the issue for that year, but
> failed to communicate with Alan Weiss. Alan then inadvertently
> misinterpreted an unrelated $2.3 million discretionary spending bill,
> and incorrectly passed that information on to us.
> Jeb has since organized a meeting with board member Wavell Cowan, and
> including Bill Talbot from the Department of Education The result is
> that the Department will develop a "needs" criterion for exceptional
> special education costs as a basis for Jeb Spaulding to seek appropriate
> funding for next year. We'll keep you informed of progress.
> Harwood Governance:
> A Harwood 7-8 committee including members representing Warren,
> Waitsfield, and Fayston, and supported by superintendent Bill Riegel is
> seeking to devise a so-called contract district approach (a number of
> school districts contracting with each other to support the operation of
> a common school) whereby middle school students at Harwood can be placed
> under the control and responsibility of a new board consisting of
> delegated members from existing elementary school boards. The Moretown
> board have indicated that this proposed new Harwood 7-8 board does not
> have their support. The Moretown board feels that another layer of
> bureaucracy will only increase the current inefficiency of Harwood
> (7-12) governance. They believe the only viable solution to the Harwood
> governance problems is to develop an integrated K-12 or 7-12 solution.
> It has been suggested that the Harwood 7-8 committee should check with
> the State Board of Education for a legal opinion as to where the Valley
> towns will stand if Moretown won't join the proposed contract district.
> The Moretown board believes the current Harwood board would then
> necessarily still govern the Middle School, since they cannot abrogate
> their statutory responsibilities and the articles of association require
> a unanimous vote of all towns for any change. This would mean that the
> Valley towns would have no governing authority but would simply tuition
> their students (pay the costs) into a Harwood district middle school
> composed of Moretown as the sole remaining sending school, not having
> withdrawn its middle school students. More to come as this situation
> unfolds.
> Harwood Assessment:
> A resolution of the Harwood assessment problem, the problem reported in
> the last issue of Moretown Matters (the Education department ruling
> confirming that the Harwood board has been improperly assessing member
> towns) has stalled at the Harwood board level. Motions responding to
> this problem are expected at their next meeting but there are only
> rumors of content and speculation of support for those motions. We await
> a concrete proposal from them before considering a course of action.
> This contentious issue will be with us for some time.
>

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