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School Board Approves 2013-14 Budget With Full-Day K

The Board of Education unanimously approved its 2013-14 budget Tuesday, June 18, with adjustments recommended by Acting Superintendent of Schools John Reed to allow the implementation of full-day kindergarten.

During its June 6 meeting, the school board directed Dr Reed to develop an example of what the 2013-14 budget would look like with the inclusion of full-day kindergarten and report back to the board. That report was delivered Tuesday, along with adjustments to the 2013-14 school budget to make up the difference between the school board’s first budget proposal and the school budget as passed by voters at referendum June 4.

With the inclusion of full-day kindergarten, Dr Reed’s recommended adjustments reduced $1,800,000 from the school board’s first proposed budget to meet later adjustments in the budget process.

Those adjustments included reductions to proposed staffing positions, curriculum and staff development, technology, and plant operations and maintenance. One adjustment pointed out during the second public participation portion of the meeting by resident Michelle Ku is $48,978 from the superintendent’s net salary and benefits.

“I just wanted to thank you for that,” Ms Ku said to Dr Reed.

After asking the school board reinstate one reduction listed in the “Recommended 2013-14 Budget Adjustments” document, a Reed Intermediate School Project Adventure teacher, Dr Reed said, if authorized by the board, he would find the $60,077 elsewhere in the budget. Dr Reed explained that through further discussions with Reed Intermediate School Principal Jay Smith, Dr Reed was convinced of the Project Adventure teacher position’s positive effect on the school’s schedule.

BOE member Richard Gaines also requested Dr Reed look into whether adding back a new Newtown Middle School World Language teacher position and a new Newtown High School math teacher position, both requested in the original budget proposal and removed in Dr Reed's adjustments, would be as needed at the Reed Intermediate Project Adventure position.

With its motion to approve the budget with Dr Reed's adjustments, the school board also authorized Dr Reed to spend $180,000 to fill three possible full time equivalent positions as/if he finds the three positions necessary.

If Dr Reed does implement one or all three positions, he said he would then report back to the school board where reductions are made to compensate for that money to the school board.

A further story on the school board's meeting will be available in the June 21 print edition of The Newtown Bee.

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