LEANDER, Texas — Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated that 18 positions had been approved, based on a tweet from Leander ISD. However, the district corrected that number Friday morning.

At their meeting on Thursday, the Leander ISD board voted to add 20 new special education positions for the 2019-2020 school year.

The total cost of the positions is an estimated $795,176. The board voted six to zero, with one member absent.

According to a revised board agenda item obtained by KVUE, prior to this vote, LISD special education staffing was increased for the 2019-2020 school year using a growth estimate of 6.9%. 

But as of Aug. 15, the district's special education population has grown by 9.3% and the district said trend data indicates that growth will continue throughout the year.

The agenda item said the caseloads of the district's support staff – including occupational/physical therapists, speech pathologists, licensed school psychology specialists, diagnosticians and ARD facilitators – have also increased significantly over the last two years as the district's special education population has increased.

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The item said that LISD's special education population increased by 10.9% during the 2018-2019 school year.

The item noted that Senate Bill 500, passed this past legislative session, provides additional special education funding to all local education agencies and as a result of SB 500, LISD recently received $663,540 in additional funding for special education services which could include funding these new positions.

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