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Board of Education Approves 4.05% Budget Increase

The board cuts the superintendents' proposed 4.07 percent increase down until the increase was 3.81 percent, then approves several post-Newtown-shootiung school security measures, which raise the increase to 4.05 percent.

The Darien Board of Education approved an $83.2 million budget proposal for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, which includes new spending on school security, and agreed to request $344,000 for security this year.

The board also approved a capital budget request of $2,198,700, which includes  a $300,000 generator at Darien High School. All the budget proposals will go to the Board of Finance and the Representative Town Meeting for approval.

Along with the $344,000 in school security spending this fiscal year, the board will ask for $518,000 to replace heating oil tanks at town elementary schools, also to be spent within this fiscal year's budget.

Cut from the superintendent's proposed $83,239,646 budget were relatively small spending items or proposals to spend more money, such as money to pay the secretary in the health office for extra weeks when school was not in session ($11,559) or a reduction of $10,930 in the amount of proposed money for replacing school furniture.

The biggest cuts in the education budget Tuesday evening came from more favorable spending estimates for items such as retirement benefits (down ($49,827) and a rule change in medical benefit payments (down $153,126).

From the superintendent's proposal for $83,239,646 in spending for 2013-2014, the board cut the proposed education budget down to $83,224,929.

Included in the 2013-2014 proposed budget is $156,000 to pay for security monitors, one in each of the town's elementary schools, and $45,000 in equpment and maintenance costs for new security equipment in the schools.

The superintendent and Board of Education intend to ask for $344,000 in additional spending this year to increase security. That includes $179,000 in spending for security cameras and an outdoor public address system (money removed from the 2013-2014 capital budget request in order to spend it earlier), another $90,000 in other costs and $75,000 to hire and pay security monitors who would work part of the current school year.

Jean D. February 13, 2013 at 03:11 PM
No guns in THIS security package I hope! A gun free zone please.

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