We published this check-in post last week on the sharp increase in the fee charged by the San Diego Unified School District to charter schools for special education services.

The per-student fee was set to increase from $976 last year to $1,130 in the 2012-13 school year. But the board updated that figure in its Tuesday night meeting — the actual fee will be $1,084 per student.

The school board also voted 3-0 (two trustees were absent) to allow charter schools to defer paying the difference between last year’s fee and this year’s until July 2013. That gives some breathing room to schools like Old Town Academy, which have suddenly been whacked with an 11 percent increase in the cost of special education services. Old Town Academy’s Tom Donahue told me last week that the increase in fees has significantly affected his school’s bottom line.

Charters now have seven months to get together the money to pay the additional $108 per student the district is charging them.

Miles Durfee, managing regional director of Southern California for the California Charter Schools Association, told the board he appreciated the move to help charters out.

“We’re hopeful that there will be a long-term solution,” Durfee said.

Will Carless is an investigative reporter at Voice of San Diego currently focused on local education. You can reach him at will.carless@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5670.

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Will Carless was formerly the head of investigations at Voice of San Diego.

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