Education


BOE Approves 2019-20 Budget Priorities And Assumptions

Published: October 11, 2018 at 09:40 am

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After deliberating wording, the Board of Education approved its 2019-20 budget assumptions and priorities at its meeting on October 2.

As approved, the school board’s 2019-20 assumptions read “The Newtown Board of Education’s mission to inspire every student to excel will be the foundation of all decision-making.

Open and honest communication and cooperation will be maintained with other municipal boards and the community throughout the budget process.”

The assumptions, including financial support from the state and federal levels, will “keep pace with increased programming mandates and will be further reduced by legislation and reductions of grants and other supports to local communities.” The assumptions also include training for district staff and will continue to support safety, security, and health standards; salaries and benefits will be based on commitments incurred through collective bargaining and other employment agreements; existing programs and services will be reviewed, evaluated, maintained, or adjusted as the educational needs of students change; and overall certified and classified staffing levels will be adjusted based on enrollment, programming, safety factors, and facility considerations.

The school district also released the board’s approved priorities for the 2019-20 budget. The priorities are supporting funding for appropriate class sizes; maintaining a contingency item in the budget for special education enrollment changes; continuing a level funding plan for expansion and sustainability of technology with access and equity for all students; creating a plan for maintenance of facilities and vehicles that includes a budget increase to provide air-conditioning capacity in the identified schools; continuing to pursue opportunities to share services, where appropriate, between the Board of Education and all town departments and participate in regional services when they are beneficial to the district; ensuring adequate funding for mental health resources to meet student needs; ensuring adequate funding for special education that meets needs, including those that are identified in the self-study; and evaluating funding for all extracurricular activities to determine an appropriate level of support.

According to the Board of Education’s 2019-20 budget calendar, Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue is scheduled to present her proposed budget at the board’s planned January 15 meeting. From there, the school board will deliberate the budget before adopting its budget at a scheduled February 5 meeting. The budget will then go before the Board of Finance and Legislative Council for review. The town’s budget referendum is slated for April 23.

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