2015-16 Education Budget Summary
After several months of deliberations and discussion, the Board of Education approved the 2015-16 Education Budget on February 12, 2015. The vote was unanimous by the Board of Education. The following is a summary of the budget.
Overview – The final budget includes an increase of 5.35% over the 2014-15 budget. This increase follows two years of underfunded budgets. The 2012-13 budget included a 2.5% increase and the 2014-15 budget only a 1.5% increase. In both of those years, approximately 6.5% was needed for a maintenance or status quo budget. This year's 5.35% increase is basically a maintenance or status quo budget.
There are basically three areas in this budget that resulted in the 5.35% increase. First, contractual requirements for salary and benefit increases accounted for approximately $1.2M or 3.4% of the increase. Second, utility costs, especially in the area of electricity, increased due to the cost of natural gas in New England. Utility increases accounted for approximately $610,000 or 1.7% of the increase. Lastly, several new special education students with legally required services and programs enrolled in the district resulting in an additional $550,000 or 1.5% increase. These three areas totaled over 6.5%. However, the Board of Education and administration made other adjustments to lower that percentage to the 5.35% level.
If the Board of Finance reduces the proposed increase below the 5.35% level, programs and staff will be reduced or eliminated. Again this is a maintenance, status quo budget with few enhancements.
It is important for the Board of Finance to allow the community the opportunity to set direction for the future of the district by bringing the proposed 5.35% increase to referendum. Parents are encouraged to support this effort and to let our elected officials know how important it is to maintain quality schools.
March 11: BOF receives Education Budget – Stonington Police Dept. 7:00 PM
March 23: BOF Budget Deliberations – Mystic Middle School 7:00 PM
March 24: BOF Budget Deliberations – Stonington High School 7:00 PM
March 25: BOF Budget Deliberations – Stonington High School 7:00 PM
April 14: BOF Public Hearing on Budget – Stonington High School 7:00 PM
April 15: BOF Special Meeting / Budget – Stonington High School 7:00 PM
Please click here for the 2015-2016 Budget Summary.