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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Landon Considering Budget Cuts

By Jennifer Connic

Westport school officials are still determining how to react to a Board of Finance $500,000 cut to the proposed 2007-08 school budget and whether they should seek restoration.

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Elliott Landon: Torn on suggested budget cuts. WN file photo
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said today he is still reflecting on the cuts and if school officials can live with them, but the final decision on restoration needs to be made by the Board of Education.

“You always hope there will be no cuts, but once they are made we need to reflect on if we can live with them,” he said. “The Board of Finance was thoughtful in its decision, and we need to examine if (the suggested cuts) are what is prudent. We will need (school board) input.”

The finance board suggested $400,000 of the cut come from the insurance reserve and $80,000 come from the transportation savings generated by the all-day kindergarten program, but Landon said those may not be the areas that should be cut.

During an executive session on security matters, he said, he suggested that the $80,000 transportation savings could be used to address school security issues.

The school board has never formally discussed the potential of using the savings for the security measures, he said.

“I’m really torn,” Landon said. “I’m concerned about our security plans, but at the same time it is unanticipated funds that could help us cover the cut. This needs to be discussed by the board.”

Michael McGovern, a board member, also persuaded him that the $300,000 needed to be added to the insurance reserve fund during the board’s budget deliberations in February, Landon said.

“That was not my original recommendation,” he said. “We need to talk about that more. The reality and the suggestions all need to be discussed.”

The school board is scheduled to meet next on Monday, April 9 at 8 p.m. at Staples High School.


Posted 03/29/07 at 08:48 PM  Permalink


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