Saturday, July 13, 2024

Cascade School District receives state support for special education funding

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LEAVENWORTH – Cascade School District (CSD) will be reimbursed $111,000 by the state for special education expenses accrued during the 2023-2024 school year.

“We have students who need interpreters, we have students who need breathing tubes, we have students who need nursing care, we have students who need a teacher of the deaf to come out, we have students who need paraeducator support. We have students who need a lot of things, and this is the way the state is able to reimburse us for some of those costs,” CSD Superintendent Tracey Edou said during a CSD Board meeting.

The reimbursement was awarded through the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) Safety Net Funding, which assists school districts with special education expenses that incur beyond state and federal allocations. 

“The idea is, sometimes you have to spend more than your allocation, because a child needs additional support. And so the state provides a safety net in order to help you meet those needs, even if you don't receive the funding for it initially,” said Edou.

The grant is considered competitive and complicated, and the district hadn’t applied for it since Edou joined the district. To ensure success on its first application, CSD focused on the additional support spent for six students. Edou estimates the reimbursement covers about five percent of the district’s special education expenses. 

“It's helping us a lot, because this year we've had to go into our savings, which is why we have savings. But it's going to reduce the amount of savings that we need to dip into in order to meet our expenses this year,” said Edou to Ward Media.

CSD plans to apply for the grant again next year, with the help of Educational Service District 112 (ESD).

“ESD 112 actually is in cooperation with our local ESD, which is 171. They help districts with special education services, and they actually are experts on that. So, I expect our success to even go up next year with their help,” said Edou.

Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media

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