Plainville Board of Education Outlines Budget Implications
After three town budget referenda and numerous meetings on the school district budget, the Plainville Board of Education has adopted its spending plan for the 2008-2009 school year. On April 29, the town budget was defeated at the first referendum for residents to consider the spending plan for 2008-09. Before the first vote, the Town Council had reduced the Board of Education approved budget by $1,234,500 – from a 7.3% increase to a 3.4% increase.
Following the first vote, the Town Council voted to reduce the Board of Education budget by an additional $300,000 – making the total cut to the Board of Education approved budget $1,534,500. At the time, this was an increase of 2.45% compared to the current year. This budget was part of the larger town budget package that was sent to residents for a second vote on May 13. Like the first vote, the budget once again was defeated. After the second failed referendum, the Town Council voted to reduce the Board of Education budget by an additional $150,000. This reduction sets the 2008-09 Board of Education budget of $32,271,879 – a 1.98% increase compared to 2007-08. This budget will go into effect on July 1, 2008 even though the budget was defeated for the third time on May 28.
The Board of Education budget represents an increase of $625,958 compared to Fiscal Year 2007-08, but a decrease of $1,684,500 compared to the 2008-09 budget that was approved by the Board of Education.
The Board of Education met on June 5 to discuss options for reducing $1.68 million from the budget approved by the Board in February, and finalized the budget at the regularly scheduled Board meeting on June 9. Board members met again on June 23 to discuss necessary reductions and agreed to reduce instructional supply accounts, textbooks, library books, and custodial and maintenance supplies. The Board also agreed to eliminate the middle school sports program and replace it with intramurals. Additional reductions were made in staff professional development, 10 paraprofessional positions, a high school guidance position, a half-time English Language Learner (ELL) position, 3 literacy tutors, and a number of monitor positions. In addition, the budget reduction also resulted in the elimination of planned district improvements such as a Talented and Gifted Instructor, updating of the high school track, and new teaching positions to meet class size goals.
"This budget forced the Board to make some very difficult decisions that are not popular or pleasant. The bottom line is that the school system can no longer provide the services that it has in the past with less than a 2% increase. Our decisions were made with a focus on maintaining our ultimate goal of improved student achievement," said Plainville Board of Education Chairperson, Becky Tyrrell.
-Posted on June 26, 2008 at 10:16 AM
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