AP NEWS

Proposed Norwich school budget same as last year before $4 million cut

February 22, 2019

Norwich — The proposed 2019-20 city education budget looks very much like the proposed budget from a year ago, which was cut by nearly 78.46 million budget is a projected 1 million in health insurance savings attributed to a conversion to high-deductible premiums, helped cut the projected deficit, school Business Administrator Athena Nagel said.

But the school system’s ability to cut the deficit further is dwindling, she said, as schools now are swapping supplies, including paper goods, as one building runs out of something another might have in stock.

“We’re not letting them spend it,” Nagel said of the school supplies budget. “We’re literally sharing toilet paper, moving supplies from school to school.”

She added that the 48,000 by the end of this year.

The new proposed 18.5 million, despite salary increases of less than 1 percent for teachers and administrators.

The budget adds 13 para-educators who were hired this year to help alleviate large class sizes in some grades, Nagel said. Their salaries were covered this year through savings in the salary account gained by shifting other positions to grants. In next year’s proposed budget, the 13 para-educators were placed in the support salaries account, which would increase by $600,000 over this year’s requested total.

The budget includes an increase in capital costs to pay for much-needed repairs to an aging portable classroom used for special-needs students at the John B. Stanton School and to purchase a used plow truck for the Veterans’ Memorial School and a new vehicle for school maintenance staff to use districtwide. Nagel said the current 7-year-old maintenance vehicle has nearly 200,000 miles.

The budget schedule calls for the full Board of Education to review and adopt the preliminary budget at its 5:30 p.m. meeting March 12 at Kelly Middle School. City Manager John Salomone will present his proposed budget, including a bottom-line total for the school budget, to the City Council on April 1. The school board will explain its budget to the council on April 4, and the first public hearing on school and city budgets is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. April 11 at City Hall.

c.bessette@theday.com