The Board of Apportionment & Taxation held its Shelton budget workshop yesterday at 8 p.m. in .
, the BOE approved a $64.3 million budget for the 2012-13 school year -- a 1 percent increase from last year. Here are some highlights from last night's workshop:
- Reduction of five elementary teachers (which will save $360,000), and two technology interns
- Addition of 24 other teaching and staff positions including: five guidance counselors, five tutors, two technology technicians and three special education teachers. (For complete breakdown, see presentation slides in media section)
- Last year's special education tuition budget was cut from $1.86 million to $1.7 million.
- Burr: "Last year's cut was not significant, but our goal is to cap or decrease special education expenses."
PER PUPIL EXPENDITURES
- A&T Vice Chair pointed out that in 2006-2007, Shelton ranked 133 out of the 169 towns and cities in Connecticut for expenditures per student, compared to 2010-2011, when Shelton ranked 151 out of 169. This reflects a decrease in spending per student over a six-year-period.
- However, Burr and Tickey both noted there have been continued achievements by Shelton students. (see Advanced Placement and SAT performance slides)
- Tickey: "This shows there is an effort being made to do more with less, and to make targeted investments which directly benefit our students."
PAY TO PLAY SPORTS
- Will not be eliminated next school year, though Mayor Mark A. appropriates $285,000 for the elimination of Pay to Play "when and only when the BOE rescinds this program."
- Burr: "With our budget proposal we can bring $80,000 to the pay to participate program, so that it's reduced 48 percent."
- Students in the free and reduced lunch programs pay a reduced fee.
- Pay to Play money goes directly to offset costs for stipend positions (coaches).
FIRE CODE VIOLATIONS
- Alderman John "Jack" Finn noted that the high school needs escape windows and a 4th floor sprinkler system.
- Burr said the BOE is still waiting for the state Fire Marshal's report. Without it, going forward would be "risky" because any work or installations have the potential of not being approved by the Fire Marshal.
- The program will be adding 25 more slots to bump enrollment up to a maximum of 50. Burr: "We believe we can cover that cost easily."
- BOE members agree that "this is the wave of the future," and investing in it now is beneficial.
EDUCATION COST SHARING
- In Lauretti's proposed budget, he added $174,000 for educated cost sharing, an amount Governor Dannel P. Malloy proposed to give Shelton. However, that proposal has yet to be passed, and Board of A&T member Judson Crawford warned of being overconfident.
- Crawford: "I agree with the Board of Ed that -- wait a minute, that $174,000 we don't have right now. How can you allocate the fund when it's not there yet?"