21 Aug 2014
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Proposed Milford School Budget Cuts 15 Teachers, Adds Three

Milford superintendent presents her school budget for 2014-15, cites declining enrollment as the primary driver for a proposed reduction in staffing.

Proposed Milford School Budget Cuts 15 Teachers, Adds Three
The superintendent’s proposed school budget for 2014-15 cuts 15 full-time regular teaching positions (non-special ed) for a projected cost savings of nearly $1 million.

“Most of this is driven by declining enrollment,” Milford Superintendent Elizabeth Feser said at a Board of Education meeting Monday.

School officials estimate that there will be 52 fewer students enrolled in the district next school year.

“There is a bubble of students moving through fifth grade but already declining enrollment at the middle schools,” Assistant Superintendent Michael Cummings said.

Meadowside School, for example, is projected to see its average fifth grade class size lose some 50 students next year, according to figures from the district.

At Harborside, the average seventh grade class size is expected to decrease by about 40 students from this year to next.

But the trend isn’t exclusive to Meadowside or Harborside; the district as a whole has 1,100 fewer students than it did a decade ago.

After the meeting, Feser said the decision on what specific positions would be affected has yet to be made.

Here are some highlights
of the superintendent’s $90 million budget proposal, which calls for a 1.326 percent increase in spending – the lowest percentage a superintendent has requested in at least a decade, Feser said.

(check back later for the details)

Requested increases in spending


$351,265 for substitute teacher pay

$254,545
for classroom technology

$159,000
for four School Resource Officers (one in each high school, two split among the three middle schools)

$130,000
for two Pre-K teachers

$105,668 for four media aides

$81,000 for curriculum and assessment development

$65,000 for a strings program teacher

$49,980 for three “greeters” at the middle schools (under school security)

Requested reductions in spending/savings


($988,000) in 15.2 teaching positions in regular education

($287,342) in 14 paraprofessionals (four regular education, 10 special education)

($200,000)
in facilities savings (utilities)

($60,000) in two secretaries

($50,000) in transportation (new arrangement fueling school buses)

Budget deliberations continue Wednesday at 7 p.m. when school board members and administration meets for a workshop in the Board of Education room at Parsons Government Center.

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