Log In

Reset Password

Superintendent Presents Proposed 2015-16 Budget



Text Size

Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, presented a $72,399,186, proposed operating budget, a 1.48 percent increase over this year’s budget, to the Board of Education on Tuesday, January 6.

The meeting was the first of multiple budget sessions for the school board to look over the superintendent’s proposed budget and make possible changes. The budget is set for adoption by the board at a planned February 5 meeting.

Dr Erardi explained that the proposed operating budget was the culmination of dozens of meetings and a team effort.

When first put before him, Dr Erardi explained the administrator’s proposed budget request represented a $74,971,589 budget, a 5.08 percent increase over the current education budget. Dr Erardi said, after going over the budget with the administration team, a reduction of $2,572,403, or 3.61 percent, was made to the proposal.

The $71,345,304 2014-15 operating budget was passed by voters last April.

The 2015-16 superintendent’s budget represents both proposed reductions and additions for the district in the next fiscal year.

Dr Erardi also explained the 1.48 percent increase represents a .52 percent increase for the regular education budget, a .61 percent increase for the special education and pupil personnel budget, and a .35 percent increase for other mixed areas of the budget.

Requested new staffing positions include replacing a department chair at Newtown High School with a Special Education supervisor for the high school, a  teacher for the elementary schools' gifted programs, an academic officer at NHS, funding a guidance position at NHS that was previously funded by the School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant, a kindergarten to 12th grade custodial supervisor, a security guard previously funded by the SERV grant, stipends for Newtown International Center for Education (NICE) program expansion, and athletic coaches for the NHS track, gymnastics, and girls’ golf teams.

The total staffing position additions represent a $302,195 increase to the budget, but it is offset by proposed staffing reductions.

When presenting the staffing reductions, Dr Erardi said it was a “painful slide” in his presentation. 

Dr Erardi also said he is comfortable that, “all the reductions fall in line with best practices, and we have not marginalized our programs or our instruction moving forward… In some cases this is a reflection of fewer classes, fewer classes needing fewer unified arts specialists, and in some cases needing fewer classroom teachers.”

The total proposed staff reductions, including both certified and non-certified staff, represents 17.43 positions, or a $633,584 reduction.

Combined with the additional staffing positions, Dr Erardi said the district would still reduce its staff by 13.17 positions, or $331,389, for the 2015-16 year.

Proposed staffing reductions include two elementary teaching positions, 1.3 Newtown Middle School teachers, a speech and language pathologist, 9.13 reductions to non-certified paraeducators, and four positions at Reed Intermediate School.

A proposed property and equipment increase of $284,758 includes $169,000 for new technology equipment, $34,692 for security technology, $30,650 for custodial equipment replacement, $25,000 to replace office furniture that is in a state of “disrepair,” $11,410 for musical instruments, and $13,973 for other equipment.

Dr Erardi’s presentation also noted that the property and equipment budget had only a $18,987 increase for the 2014-15 fiscal year. The total property and equipment budget proposed for the 2015-16 fiscal year is $819,493.

Other increases in the proposed 2015-16 budget include out of district tuition costs, contracted services, and other services, like insurance, communication, and student and staff travel. Dr Erardi also said the anticipated $205,589 increase for transportation services may change in the coming weeks.

Further information on the school board’s January 6 meeting and the superintendent’s proposed 2015-16 budget will be in the January 9 print edition of The Newtown Bee.

The school board’s next budget workshop is set for Thursday, January 8, at 7:30 pm at the Newtown Municipal Center. 

Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, presented his proposed 2015-16 budget for the Board of Education during a budget workshop held on Tuesday, January 6.
Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply