Baker-Polito Administration Announces COVID-19 Funding for Special Education Programs

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Gov. Baker

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration announced $16.1 million in relief for 32 special education residential school providers to support costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, special education residential schools remained open to support their students with unique challenges. Schools incurred unanticipated costs related to the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), infection control measures, increased staffing costs and enhanced cleaning protocols.

The funding announced today is in addition to $3 million in funding the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) provided in April to support the residential education school system. Together, this $19 million acknowledges the efforts of these schools to remain open on a 24/7 basis throughout the pandemic and the measures they implemented to keep their doors open and their youth and staff safe.

Earlier in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services implemented $139 million in increased funding through its existing system for residential and congregate care services providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were used for increased staffing, enhanced infection control procedures and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Due to the structure of the special education residential schools, they were not eligible for this earlier rate increase, but today’s announcement will bring them in line with the previous rate increases provided to other residential and congregate care providers.

To support Special Education programs, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has released Comprehensive Special Education Guidance for the 2020-21 School Year. The Initial Fall Reopening Guidance asks schools and districts to prioritize and begin planning for in-person instruction, while simultaneously preparing blueprints for both remote learning and a hybrid school model (a combination of in-person and remote learning), should local conditions change this school year. This document complements the Initial Fall Reopening Guidance by providing further information on supporting students with disabilities during the upcoming school year. It also provides necessary information in support of schools and districts, as they develop the portion of their reopening plans specifically related to special education. Earlier, DESE released its extended school year guidance to allow for special education day programs to open last week.

The total relief funding by provider is below:

Organization

Relief Funding

Amego, Inc.

                                                 220,552

Archway, Inc.

                                                    45,745

Boston Higashi School, Inc.

                                                 812,699

Brandon Residential Treatment Center, Inc.

                                                 114,578

Cardinal Cushing Centers Inc.

                                                 416,342

Chamberlain International School

                                                 223,922

Crystal Springs, Inc

                                                 513,850

Devereux Foundation

                                                 329,687

Doctor Franklin Perkins School

                                                 378,350

Evergreen Center Inc.

                                              1,087,973

Fall River Deaconess Home

                                                    28,353

Hillcrest Educational Center Inc.

                                              1,275,323

Italian Home for Children

                                                 273,360

JRI

                                                 952,338

Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, Inc.

                                              1,763,017

Latham Centers, Inc.

                                                 393,634

League School of Boston Inc.

                                                 154,355

MAB Community Services

                                                    88,364

McAuley Nazareth

                                                    18,220

Melmark New England, Melmark Inc.

                                                 629,220

New England Center for Children

                                              1,902,742

Perkins School for the Blind

                                                    23,317

St. Ann’s Home, Inc

                                              1,081,950

Stetson School, Inc.

                                                 419,099

Stevens-Children’s Home

                                                    88,116

The Guild for Human Services, Inc.

                                                 844,602

The Home for Little Wanderers

                                                 131,051

The Learning Center For The Deaf, Inc.

                                                 154,850

The May Institute, Inc.

                                              1,006,071

Walker, Inc.

                                                 150,910

Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, Inc.

                                                 211,454

Whitney Academy

                                                 465,755

Total

                                           16,199,797

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