Tuesday, February 11, 2014
The Westport Board of Education tonight approved $699,000 in cuts from the superintendent’s original 2014-15 proposed budget, resulting in a revised request to the town of $110,319,484—a 5.89 percent increase over the current year.
The cuts include $50,000 for instructional supplies, to be made up by asking parents of 2,500 younger students to purchase $20 in supplies themselves.
The board also authorized a one-time special appropriation request of $1,088,709 to the Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting (RTM) this year to cover a shortfall in its health insurance fund and provide for a 5 percent “risk corridor” fund going forward.
This would be made up of $355,009 to be allocated to the current year budget and $733,700 for the risk corridor, said Chair Elaine Whitney. The Board of Education’s Health Insurance Subcommittee approved the recommendations earlier today.
If this special appropriation request is approved, Whitney said, this would result in a reduction in the 2014-15 requested budget amount to $109,585,784, or a 5.19 percent increase.
In addition to the school supplies cuts, among the approved reductions suggested by Superintendent Elliott Landon were $13,500 for half a paraprofessional at Coleytown Middle School, $75,000 in permanent teacher substitutes, $265,000 in classroom refurbishing and tile cleaning and restoration, $50,000 in special education outside placements, and $50,000 in instructional technology. Total cuts were $699.072.
Before adjourning, Whitney said she wanted to thank the board members and those on the special subcommittee for their hard work as well as the administration for “making sure the kids’ needs are met but being as tight as you could with the resources required to do so.”
Added Landon: “I want to thank the board for your insight, input, suggestions. I think working together collaboratively on this we have come up with a really great budget.”
Posted 02/11/14 at 02:35 AM
How absolutely assinine it is, in a town where the average home sells above a million, the average income is in the 100’s of thousands and the average student wears designer clothing for that town to ask parents to kick in $20.00 to defray the cost of school supplies for a saving of $50,000.
Far better to have the bus drivers turn off their engines while they wait hours upon hours a month for students. That would save thousands and the atmoshpere as well.
What a concept!