Jul 29, 2014
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VIDEO UPDATE: Newtown Board of Education Still Needs to Find $274 Thousand

Closing the $274 thousand gap would give Newtown a "same services" budget plus full day kindergarten.

VIDEO UPDATE: Newtown Board of Education Still Needs to Find $274 Thousand

 

A special meeting was called by BOE Chair Debbie Leidlein to help both the BOE members and the public understand the gap in funding between the current budget and the “same services” budget.

A handout at the meeting, prepared by Ron Bienkowski, Business Director,  identified a current gap of $518 thousand between a budget that represented “same services” but also added full day kindergarten.  In other words, the current budget for 2012-13 is short by $518 thousand in providing the same services as this fiscal year plus full day kindergarten.

Newly identified items totaling $244 thousand that were generally accepted by the BOE members are detailed below. 

 

Reductions

$ (000)

Transportation Coordinator 

45

Magnet School bus Aide                                

12

Pre-school program bus aides  

51

HS Pay to Participate for athletic trips

21

HS textbooks - lost book fines to be used 

23

Transportation Bond

16

Sandy Hook Ass’t principal to Lead Teacher

75

Total 

244

 

Taking these into consideration, the Board will need to identify another $274 thousand in specific items to reduce from the proposed budget to bridge the gap to the "same services" level and keep full day kindergarten.   

Much of the evening was spent by the business director explaining the numbers and eliminating confusion on the part of the BOE members. 

Some of the discussion was centered on reduction of teachers justified by expected enrollment numbers. Kindergarten enrollment is lower than expected so it may be possible to eliminate several kindergarten teachers and associated aides .  Enrollment numbers for other grades were debated and discussed. 

 It was concluded that when the principals attend the BOE meeting next Tuesday the BOE would get their input before discussing teacher reductions any further.

In addition to possible teacher reductions, other items put on the table by the school administration include the following. Most of these have not been discussed in depth yet. 

 

Reduction

$ (000)

Elementary after school activities 

  37

RIS after school activities

  42

MS after school activities and sports

  73

Professional Development

  40

Instructional supplies

  100

High school misc program reductions

  31

Director of music to classroom

  61

SHS library clerk typist                    

  11

RIS library clerk typist

  21

SHS music teacher

  21

 

The public was reminded that no final decisions could be made untill after the budget was approved. 

At the next regularly scheduled Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday June 19th the budget will be on the agenda as a discussion item. 

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