Proposed School Budget Is $97m

Proposal is a 3.27 percent increase over this fiscal year.


The proposed school budget for next fiscal year totals $97,069,039 and represents a 3.27 percent increase over the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30.

This year's school budget of about $94 million was a .67 percent increase from the year prior.

The total proposed budget, which was submitted last month by departing Superintendent Irene Cornish and will start to be reviewed next week, can be broken down as follows:

  • Plus $417,819 (0.92%) for salaries, totaling $45,869,114
  • Minus $497,568 (3.04%) for benefits, totaling $15,878,222
  • Plus $473,828 (22.85%) for classroom support, totaling $2,547,564
  • Minus $86,450 (2.29%) for plant operations, totaling $3,689,427
  • Plus $202,347 (4.76%) for transportation, totaling $4,450,770
  • Plus $1,526,635 (7.5%) for special education, totaling $21,884,907
  • Plus $22,088 (1.34%) for general services, totaling $1,664,571
  • Plus $1,017,813 (1527%) for contingency, totaling $1,084,465

"The disctrict is projecting a 4 percent decrease in health insurance premiums for FY 2013-14 as a result of the initial screening of the Board's Request For Proposals (RFP) for a health insurance provider," Cornish writes in her proposal.

About 75 percent of the budget will be paid by local taxes.

What's in the budget -- some highlights

  • $17,325 in funding for a part-time nurse for the Pathways program
  • $99,114 in funding for a secondary math/science coordinator
  • $56,765 to add sixth-grade teacher at Second Hill Lane
  • $121,814 (combined) in funding for Spanish/French teachers at middle and high schools
  • $150,000 increased funding for the implementation of a new teacher evaluation system
  • $158,700 increased magnet school tuition for the cost to transport students to Discovery and Wheeler magnet schools

What's considered but not in the budget

  • $42,998 to pay half the salary for an assistant principal at Franklin Elementary
  • $56,765 for a full-time music teacher to be shared between Chapel and Second Hill Lane

Stratford Board of Education Chairman Gavin Forrester said he anticipates a final budget be sent to Mayor John A. Harkins for approval by mid-February.

Stratford Patch will be at the budget committee meeting next week.

OpportunistWatch January 18, 2013 at 03:14 PM
The over priced special ed costs could be avoided if teachers did more rather then allow the student to ACT UP and abuse other students then when the parents of the abused students complain, the teacher puts in a request for an over priced special ed teacher for the special ed student. I have seen this happen more than once since my children started Stratford schools. Its a "who you know" system of hiring and not what you know. This happens when the ones doing the hiring in the BOE & certain teachers have friends who need jobs so they create one by allowing the special ed student to abuse others students. Kickbacks are so regular when the DOPW or housing authority hires a friend of the family or family themselves. From the Binoffski's to the Best's to hiring son's of Stratford cops who have seizures. The list of abusers in this town run deep. The veteran cops/fire who pump up their salaries with overtime the last three years in service so they can retire with criminally large pensions WE HAVE TO PAY BACK IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS STRATFORD IS KNOWN FOR. The first Attorney/Mayor of Stratford, Jim Miron, gave huge payouts of Stratford tax payer money to his buddies before they left Stratford town jobs. What a joke that was and then we had Cornish threaten to shut down schools because of the short fall of tax dollars.
Jim Ravis January 18, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Agreed - reduce / eliminate the number of assistant principals. Hire a secretary at 1/3 the price if needed. There was only one asst principal in Bunnell in the early 70's. Too much fat in the system now. Math/Science coordinator? Please!
Matt January 19, 2013 at 05:43 PM
This is by far one of the most ridiculous and ignorant comments I have seen on PATCH in a long time and God knows there are lot of ignorant comments. A teacher cannot request that a new special education be hired no more than a individual person in the school system or a parent can identify a student as in need of special education instruction. The state and federal laws governing special education are very specific and sadly require local school systems to spend enormous amounts of time and money in fulfilling requirements. Your attacks on individuals for engaging in nepotism related to the creation and need for "unnecessary" special education positions clearly demonstrates a complete lack of facts to you base your comment on. Do some reading and research before whining.
Matt January 19, 2013 at 06:08 PM
As a parent of 5 children going through this system it is sad to listen to the "well informed citizenry" complain every year when the budget comes about. Nobody wants to pay more taxes, but the fact of the matter is everythig has a costs associated with it, including educating our youth, just as it did when you went to school. It is so easy to sit, judge and comment about topics we know nothing about. When have you walked in the shoes of a school administrator. Do you have any idea of the responsibilities and requirements of the job that come from local, state and federal, policies and laws? I suppose you think training, responsibilities and requirements for other public positions like fire and police are the same as they were in the 60's and 70's, because nothing changes. I was not a big fan of Mrs. Cornish, but she did cut out the administrative "fat" in this school system when she was here, and there has been collateral damage because of that. Yet the teachers and administrators in this district continue to do the best with the little that they have. Pay attention to state and federal laws when they are being proposed that require more of the educators then teaching the 3 r's and oppose those that require costs that need to be borne by the local schools. There are millions of dollars of unfunded state and federal mandates that have to be included in every BOE budget. That's the problem, not too many administrators.
Karen E Daden January 23, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Stop teaching for the TEST and bring back reading, writing and arithmetic and how about civics. Too many or our students are being short changed because all attention is given to the all mighty TEST. A town this size, with a student population this size does not and should not have a School Budget this high. Looking through the budget what you see is not getting more supplies for the classrooms but more and more administration to ensure that the TEST is the priority. $97m should give the teachers and students way more than they get. The dumbing down of American students has got to stop. The TESTING that goes on should not be connected to funding of education. Basically the US and Stratford needs to scrape the current system of educating our young and start over. My Mother, an educator for over 35 years retired as the TEST came into existence. She predicted that our teachers would be stifled,students would not be ready for the outside world and administration of school systems would become expensive as the TEST would become more important then our students. She was right.


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