The Department of Education is asking for a more than 4 percent raise in its budget for next year. The department is also asking for nearly $1.5 billion for fiscal year 2019.
Education Secretary Susan Bunting said that enrollment numbers are rising. That’s part of the reason she’s asking for a bigger budget.
But officials also say they’re looking at cutting costs in transportation. Bunting said the current system is expensive and drivers are hard to attract to open positions.
“You truly look at things that have been in place for a long time and you question is this effective, do we need to continue, do we need to continue, but reduce the amount we’re investing in something," she said.
The education secretary also says the number of special needs children is growing. She attributes the rise to a greater awareness among teachers on how to help students be successful.
State Rep. Kim Williams (D-Newport) said right now there’s no funding for special education kids that are in kindergarten through third grade. She says her own kids benefited from extra help in school when they were young.
“I had two children that were developmentally delayed and they received early intervention and I’m proud to say that they’re in college," she said. "You know, my daughter graduated second in her class.”
Note: The original article incorrectly stated that districts and charter schools were considering combining bus routes. We regret the error.