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Mansfield Schools in Danger of Losing Federal Funds

Mansfield could lose federal funding if state requirements are not met concerning high needs students.

The Mansfield School Committee discussed on Tuesday the fiscal year 2013 budget season and the problems that unfounded state mandates put on the district.

“In terms of the next year’s budget, we’re getting ready to begin,” Mansfield school’s director of finances Edward Vozzella said. “In the week after next, we’ll send out the budget templates and begin in earnst.”

The unfunded mandates, superintendent Brenda Hodges said, focuses on high-needs groups of students.

“Those are the students that need to be small [class size] numbers and are very staff intensive,” she said. “We’re going to need to take that into consideration.”

She said that risking these student groups could cost the town and the district large amounts of funding.

“The state does categorize [school districts] on a level one through five,” she said. “In order to maintain a [categorization] where it does not take away federal funds, you need to show more growth than Mansfield shows. We certainly need to embed that into our budget as we bring it forth.”

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