In order to alleviate some financial burden, the state of Connecticut administers an Excess Cost Grant to assist school districts with extraordinary special education costs. But he state’s Excess Cost Grant is not designed to reimburse school districts for all of their special education costs. Rather, it only covers a certain reimbursable percentage that fluctuates from year to year. Moreover, the Excess Cost Grant is usually not fully funded by the state. Thus, even with state assistance, districts are still facing the same dilemma every year: allocating funding for special education costs without knowing how much will be needed each year or what percentage will be reimbursed.
This short brief explores the impact of Excess Cost Grant shortfalls by reviewing the history behind this funding, some of the challenges it creates, and a case study of one district.