Claremont residents have approved a measure to spend one-time relief money the school district received from the state on three special education programs.
Six hundred and fifty thousand dollars will be used to create an autism program, start an alternative program at Stevens High School, and expand a program that serves students with social and behavioral challenges at an elementary school.
Another $650,000 will go towards property tax relief.
Michael Tempesta, the superintendent for SAU 6, says he hears Claremont residents’ concerns about how new programs could affect the tax rate.
But he says in the long-term, having programs in the district means schools won't have to send students elsewhere to get special education services.
“If we build a program and we keep students in district and the money we would have spent through the budget might be spent in other ways, this might in fact be a better investment for long term relief,” he said.
According to Tempesta’s office, 24 to 27 percent of the special education budget is spent on sending students out of the district for services.
Tempesta says he plans to implement these programs in the next few months.