The Board of Education, along with Interim Superintendent Dr John Reed and incoming Superintendent Dr Joseph Erardi, respectfully requests that you join with us in supporting the 2014-2015 budget by voting YES on Tuesday, April 22nd, at Newtown Middle School between the hours of 6 am and 8 pm.
On April 2nd, the Legislative Council unanimously approved the budget put forth for our consideration by the Board of Finance. This budget represents a zero tax increase while taking into account the need for a solid school security plan, proper coverage of our health insurance funds, money to repair our roads as well as a reduction in staffing in our schools in response to declining enrollment.
Please join us on Tuesday, April 22nd, and vote yes at the Middle School on Queen Street from 6 am – 8pm.
It may have been one of the shortest budget public hearings the Legislative Council has hosted, but its four participants brought the same degree of passion and advocacy for the school district budget proposal as dozens have in previous years.
The four residents, plus Interim Superintendent John Reed, spent a total of about ten minutes Wednesday evening relating their support for the district’s spending plan, and calling for the council to move the budget request to referendum with no further reductions.
Saying she was presenting a spending plan that the Board of Education believes “helps us meet our budget goals,” which in part, plan “for the future needs of the Newtown public school system,” board Chair Debbie Leidlein reviewed a number of points in the proposal that will face further Board of Finance deliberation in the coming days.
Newtown’s school and municipal officials have a new piece to fit into the town’s annual budget puzzle this year — a new priority, a new expense, a new conundrum. As the town transitions from the various ad hoc arrangements it established in the wake of 12/14 to better secure local schools, the Board of Education, at the urging of First Selectman Pat Llodra, has proposed a security budget totaling just under $3 million that is separate from the school board’s proposed $71.5 million operating budget for 2014-15.
At one point late in the Board of Selectmen’s 2014-15 budget deliberations, Selectman James Gaston, Sr, observed, “You have to be disciplined when times are good and you have to be disciplined when times are bad.”
His comment came as he and fellow Selectman Will Rodgers along with First Selectman Pat Llodra prepared to move a municipal budget request to the Board of Finance representing a 0.3 percent overall increase above the current year.
For the second meeting in a row, Board of Finance Joe Kearney spent time reviewing school enrollment and budget trends. While most of the core data he reviewed was the same as information Mr Kearney initially presented on January 23, he did adjust the coming year’s data to accommodate the 0.75 percent increase that Interim Superintendent John Reed requested from the Board of Education during a meeting on the same evening.