TESTIMONY ON SB 1008 - AN ACT CONCERNING THE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF BOARDS OF EDUCATION RESULTING FROM RESIDENTIAL PLACEMENTS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES
Joseph J. Cirasuolo, Ed.D.
The CT Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) which represents the superintendents of CT’s public school districts strongly supports enactment of SB 1008, AN ACT CONCERNING THE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF BOARDS OF EDUCATION RESULTING FROM RESIDENTIAL PLACEMENTS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES (DDS), for the following reasons:
- The Act makes a statutory requirement of what has been the practice for many years whereby local school districts assume the cost of the educational program that is provided by the institutions into which DDS places children and DDS assumes the non-educational costs of the placements.
- The Act would remedy the situation caused by a ruling issued recently by the CT Attorney General whereby local boards of education could be required to assume the non-educational costs of the placements.
- The assignment of non-educational costs of placements made by DDS to local boards of education would constitute the imposition of a MAJOR UNFUNDED MANDATE upon local school districts. The best information presently available indicates that there are 26 children in CT placed by DDS in residential institutions and that it is estimated that the aggregate non-educational cost of these placements in school year 2016-17 is approximately $6,500,000. Transferring this cost to local school districts would add an additional challenge to an already challenging situation for local boards of education as they try to find the resources needed to even continue in 2017-18 the services that they are providing children in 2016-17.