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.
Magnet School bus Aide
Pre-school program bus aides
HS Pay to Participate for athletic trips
HS textbooks - lost book fines to be used
Sandy Hook Ass’t principal to Lead Teacher
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.
Elementary after school activities
RIS after school activities
MS after school activities and sports
High school misc program reductions
Director of music to classroom
SHS library clerk typist
RIS library clerk typist
SHS music teacher
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.