The proposed Stonington 2013-2014 school budget got a little more expensive Thursday night when Superintendent Van Riley and the Board of Education added four items to the budget.
Riley added funds for athletics, testing and technology to the budget. The Board of Education and Riley also noted that they would have to set aside funds to meet the new state evaluation programs that will take effect.
A revised proposed budget with the official updated budget numbers will be discussed at the board’s next budget hearing on Jan. 24, 2013 at 7 p.m., at Stonington High School. Riley, however, said that it was his belief the new budget would still come in under a three percent budget increase. Currently, the $33.9 million proposed budget, which includes all-day kindergarten, would increase the school budget by $974,588 or 2.95 percent from last year.
The additions include $6,000 to fund transportation for Stonington High School Crew. The crew program began as a club sport in the 1990s and Riley said after talking to those involved in SHS crew he learned that it was always their intention that the team be funded as a sport, with the exception of equipment. From 2002 to 2008 the team received transportation funding, but it was cut after 2008, the same year a coaching stipend was added.
In his initial proposed budget $6,000 was allocated for PSATs and SATs funding, but Riley proposed adding an additional $24,833 so that the school could pay for all tenth graders to take the PSATS and for juniors and seniors to take the SATs as well as Advanced Placement testing.
Another addition was $20,000 for the purchase of Chromebooks at Pawcatuck Middle School. The computer runs on Google technology and uses a cloud-based system so students could access work from anywhere.
The final item is setting aside money, the board has not yet decided how much, so that the new state evaluation process will be met. The new Connecticut teacher and administrator evaluation process will add administrative requirements to the schools at the town level. The details on the state level could change, but Riley wants the board to approve a plan by April.
One possibility is to turn the dean position at Mystic Middle School and Pawcatuck Middle school into an assistant principal position. It would add a job responsibility to the current job. Another option is to turn both the dean and the elementary school level facilitator positions into assistant principal positions.
According to the Board of Education blog a public forum on the school budget is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2013. The board is not expected to vote on the budget until their Feb. 14, 2013 meeting.
What do you think of the additions?