As approved by the BOE, the 2014-15 education budget of $71,045,304 represents a 0% increase over current spending. It took $534,730 worth of cuts to Interim Superintendent John Reed's original budget proposal — which called for a .75 percent increase — to get there.
"Our goal is to have the kind of budget that will make the difficult decisions at the board level, that convinces the community we have the integrity to make difficult decisions," Reed said a few weeks ago when he presented his budget.
Board of Education member Keith Alexander said Friday that the majority of the cuts — $395,249 — will be made up for through grants that the district expects to get and items that can be paid for with funds in the current year's budget. Where an additional cut of $139,000 comes from will be at the discretion of Reed, Alexander said.
The detailed breakdown of cuts is as follows:
- Enrollment study to be paid from current year: -17,500
- Replacement truck to be paid from current year: -40,000
- SHS sewer assessment to be paid from current year: -15,393
- Strategic plan consultant to be paid from current year: -25,000
- Lockests to be paid from Department of Justice grant: -207,500
- Voice over IP at Reed School, to be paid from DOJ grant: -67,856
- Special Ed tuition to be paid from DOJ grant: -18,000
- Special Ed transportation to be paid from DOJ grant: -4,000
Funds for security at Newtown's schools would come under a separate budget, of $2,440,650. If grants comes in as expected, the town would only be on the hook for $43,891 of that, according to an article by the Newtown Bee.
The BOE put off a vote on the security budget Thursday night and will meet within the next week to take up the item, The Bee reports.
The education spending package must still get the sign of approval from the Board of Finance and Legislative Council before going to referendum.