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Schools Budget Presented With 1.26 Percent Increase; Board Says No, Keep it to Zero

Board votes against any increase at all but wants to keep full-day Kindergarten and new Campus Safety Officer post, so it's back to the drawing board

 

Montville Schools Superintendent Pamela J. Aubin’s 2013-2014-budget proposal called for a 1.26 percent increase over the last year’s $36.6 million budget.

Aubin said her $37.1 million plan included “ the Project O, and the new state mandated teacher evaluation plan.”

And, Aubin said, negotiated contractual wage/salary increases, which cover staff from certified educators to non-certified and para-professionals, and total more than $560,000.

But, Aubin said, the Montville Board of Education voted Thursday for a zero percent increase.

So it’s back to the drawing board.

“We will be sharpening our pencils over the next few days to find $462,018.00 in savings to meet the Board's expectations,” she said.

But, Aubin said, the board is fully behind plans for the new Campus Safety Officer position and Kindergarten plans.

“The board has set full day Kindergarten as a priority,” Aubin told Patch. 

Indeed, Board secretary Tom McNally told Patch the full-day K is a must and savings must be found elsewhere.

"They did a fantastic job coming in at just over 1 percent especially with the full day Kindergarten, the (campus safety officer position) and Project O, however, with the current economic situation, we need to keep it to zero," McNally said. 

He did however caution that the town "must work with us" on the capitol budget.

"We cannot take zero on both," he said. 

jane February 15, 2013 at 11:06 AM
I disagree that all budgets can't be kept where they are. Keep it at ZERO. Get rid of all the padding and it will work.
Cynthia Kozaczensky February 15, 2013 at 02:21 PM
When you state the budget gain must be zero, does that mean no increase over the current budget? Or does that mean no increase over the proposed budget for next year? I understand how these budgets go. It can be written for next year with 20% added projection (for example) and when the town balks they'll knock it down to a 10% gain and call it a 10% budget cut. To my knowledge all government agencies from Federal down to local use this math and it can be misleading. Perhaps all day kindergarten could be saved for a time when Montville and the surrounding areas are not hurting as bad financially. Other towns may be able to afford it. Why is it suddenly critical to have all day kindergarten?
Ellyn Santiago (Editor) February 15, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Within minutes of posting this question: 'Full day Kindergarten, yay or nay?' on Facebook the page lit up! What do you suppose the overwhelming majority said? Before you check out our (awesome) Facebook page, tell us here in the comments: Yay or nay to Full day K! https://www.facebook.com/MontvilleCTPatch/posts/537167316305981?comment_id=83058189&ref=notif&notif_t=feed_comment
Jackie Meislitzer February 16, 2013 at 02:17 AM
As a parent and a full day kindergarten teacher, I encourage everyone to go to the Connecticut State Department of Education web-site and click on the Crosswalks documents for both Language Arts and Mathematics: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2618&q=322592 These standards which demand one hour for reading and one hour of writing to be taught through a Readers/Writers Workshop model as well as 1 hours of math cannot be accomplished in a 2 and 1/2 hours day. This does not include all of the other requirements that need to be taught in a day. Our students education cannot wait, and it is not acceptable to continue to lag behind surrounding towns.
Howard March 21, 2013 at 11:10 PM
There is no such thing as a zero percent budget increase unless the line items are adjusted to compensate for salary increases along with other higher expenses due to inflation (Don't even start to tell me there is no inflation. Been to a grocery store or gas station lately?). If you hold to the previous year's bottom line, you are actually decreasing the budget (which is a good thing).

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