From Superintendent of Schools Karen Baldwin
The Suffield Board of Education operating budget will move forward to the budget vote on Wednesday, May 9. The 2012-2013 board of education budget reflects a $502,000 increase over the current year, or 1.6 percent.
This is the fourth budget in a row that requests increases of 2 percent or less. Education related revenues paid to the town and not reflected in the board of education budget will increase by $410,000. Of significance in the board budget is the fact that one expense item, employee benefits – mainly health insurance – will increase by $485,000, or 97 percent of the school district's total requested increase.
Salaries and employee benefits represent 83 percent of the total budget. These two items will increase by almost $730,000, which is $227,000 more than the total requested increase. The difference is made up by reducing other categories.
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The board of education's 2012-2013 budget will achieve savings through a reduction in electricity usage of $120,000 by installing more efficient light fixtures in all schools, eliminating two central office administration positions and creating one non-union senior administration position, a total reduction of staff headcount by two positions, re-designing bus routes to eliminate one bus from the fleet, re-allocating responsibilities among non-certified staff and achieving communications technology savings by combining purchases with other town departments.
The budget supports student learning through re-allocating teaching resources to support a full-time reading intervention position at the high school as well as providing part-time teaching positing in both fine arts and personal finance at .
Professional development funding in the district has been increased to support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The budget also supports the installation of a wireless technology platform in all of the district schools.
The town budget vote will take place in the Suffield High School auditorium on Wednesday, May 9 at 7 p.m.