Residents of Regional School District 19 – which includes Ashford, Mansfield and Willington – are invited to attend a public hearing on the 2010-2011district budget presented by Superintendent Bruce Silva.
The hearing is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23 in the E. O. Smith High School library/media center.
Tuesday is the only scheduled public hearing regarding the high school’s budget, Silva said.
However, the public can also offer comments at the District 19 Board of Education meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 6.
As it now stands, the proposed 2010-2011 budget is $18,843,570 – which is a $413,570 or 2.2 percent increase over the school’s current budget.
The finalized budget will be voted on at a May 4 referendum.
According to Silva, the budget’s increase includes a 2.8-percent hike in staff salaries and benefits.
In a budget memo send to district school board members in February, Silva said the budget was crafted to maintain current offerings at the high school.
“Great efforts have been made by school department chairs and administrators to aggressively contain costs wherever possible, while maintaining programs and services at levels expected from our school community,” he said.
Silva said his proposed budget does not reduce staff at the high school, but also does not include funding to increase programs offered at the high school.
“It’s a stay-put budget, so to speak,” he said in an interview on Monday.
As the high school is a district school, each member town pays a share based on the town’s enrollment.
With the current proposed budget, Ashford’s share increases 8.9 percent, Mansfield’s share increases 1 percent and Willington’s increases 0.4 percent.
Next year, Ashford’s student enrollment will increase by 18 students while Mansfield’s and Willington’s will only increase by one student each.
Translated into dollars, Ashford’s share is up $309,645 to $3,779,424.
Mansfield’s is up $94,594 to $10,019,441.
Willington’s share would increase $16,831 to $4,096,165.
Posted March 22, 2010, edited by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan