Superintendent Kevin D. Case has proposed a 2012-2013 school-district budget of $23,516,582, a 3.97 percent increase over the current $22,618,067.
In presenting the proposal to the Board of Education Tuesday night, Case detailed several areas of increase, including:
- Impact of Negotiated Contracts — $64,749
- Loss of Educational job funds (one-time federal funds funded four certified positions) — $198,699
- Increase in heath insurance costs — $711,142.
- Contractual Sick payout (retiring teachers/custodians) — $63,063
- Transportation Increase — 39,262
Reductions include $64,466 in anticipated savings from two teacher retirements, Case added.
Those changes alone would have resulted in a $1,012,449 or 4.476-percent increase in the budget, Case said. In addition, administrators asked for $672,427 in budget requests.
“This was one of the most challenging budgets to put together,” Case said.
In the end, Case said he trimmed $786,361 to come up with the proposal’s $898,515 increase over current spending.
There is $238,642 in programs not included in the budget numbers. Case is proposing those be funded with Open Choice Grant money the town receives for educating inner-city students. Those programs include:
- Summer school at Cherry Brook and CIS — $14,592
- Technology wireless program at Canton Middle/High School — $52,096
- Cost of Canton Academy (alternative high school) — $46,954
- Magnet School Tuition — $125,000
Case also presented an overview of some things that were and were not included in his budget proposal.
Some of the included items are:
- New textbooks for Grade 7 social studies and writing
- New textbooks for Honors Chemistry, Spanish II, Spanish III and additional novels for Language arts in grades 9-12
- Restore CMS Math position from .8 to 1.0 full-time equivalent
- Restore interscholastic field hockey to Middle School Athletic Program
- Add .2 world language teacher to Canton Intermediate School, expanding fifth-grade Spanish instruction
- Shared services with town accountant
Items not in the budget include:
- Technology Integration Specialist at Canton High/Middle School
- 8 non-certified positions (specifics to be determined, Cost roughly $13,000 each)
- $100,000 planned for continued replacement of Canton High School windows.
Case also briefly mentioned per-pupil costs. Canton spent $12,538 per student in 2010-2011. The average in its demographic reference group was $13,055 and the state average $13,993, Case said.
“The Canton taxpayers get more with less,” Case said.
The Board's finance committee will continue discussing particulars in the budget and the following public budget presentations have been scheduled:
- Feb. 27, 7 p.m. — Canton Middle School Library
- Feb. 28, 7:30 a.m. — Canton Intermediate School
- Feb. 28, 10 a.m. — Canton Community Center
- Feb. 28, 2 p.m. — Cherry Brook Primary School
- Feb. 28, 7 p.m. — BOE public hearing at Canton Community Center
The Board is expected to adopt a budget at 7 p.m. on March 6. The board must submit its budget to the finance board March 12 and will formally present it March 26. The Board of Finance will hold a budget workshop April 5 and will present the town's entire spending plan at the annual budget meeting on May 14. While the finance board can trim the bottom line of the education budget, it can direct the district in how to spends its money.
The budget may be adopted that night unless citizens petition it to referendum.