Every year, each district in the state goes through the process of approving a town budget. Each city’s process is different and needs to be fully understood by the residents. Public officials try to balance the needs of the various departments in the city with their ability to meet those requests.
The Berlin Board of Education, in conjunction with the Board of Finance and the Town Council, uses the following procedure when drawing up its budget and sending it through the proper channels:
This year, the superintendent worked with district administrators to request the following: Do not add any new staff members and do not plan to increase your operating budget. As a result, the superintendent requested a 4.87 percent increase, which included the following staffing reductions: lead teacher, custodian, BHS math teacher, BHS science teacher and two building substitutes at McGee, with the only elementary teacher added due to the new position at a particular grade level. Large class size in.
After much negotiation and deliberation, the Board of Education then voted 7 to 2 to increase the superintendent’s budget to 5.84 percent, saying that eliminating the positions was not in the best interests of students given the current academic and socio-emotional conflicts. Is. Many students after the pandemic.
Following town procedure, the Board of Finance met on March 20 and approved a 3 percent increase for the BOE for the 2023-2024 school year.
A public hearing on the municipal and BOE budget was held on March 28, and on April 4, the city council was scheduled to vote on whether to accept, reject, or reduce a 3 percent budget increase proposed by the Board of Finance.
From there, a citywide referendum would be held on 25 April. At that time, residents will have the opportunity to vote separately on the municipal and board of education budgets. Residents can indicate whether or not they support the budget. Additionally, they may indicate that they think the budget is too high or too low.
Since school administrators were under pressure to limit requests, readers may question how the budget can be stretched. Contractual obligations are a key driver in the 2023-2024 budget request, as employee education is the largest portion of the budget. A 4.24 percent increase is needed to maintain current staff and programs for the 2023-2024 school year, with no adjustments to the current level of programming. As stated earlier, the Finance Board is proposing a hike of 3 per cent.
The Board of Education will meet on April 10 to review the proposed reductions and potentially offer reduction options.
To meet that level of funding, the BOE will consider the following reductions, and others: Secondary reading teachers, Elementary reading paraprofessionals, Elementary math interventionists, Elementary and secondary math paraprofessionals, Educational resource tutors, Equipment, Special education paraprofessionals , Contracted Services, Building Options, Secondary ISS Supervisor, Kindergarten Paraprofessional, BHS Student Management Paraprofessional.
The Board of Education is committed to providing an outstanding school system that prepares all students for choices and opportunities upon graduation. The BOE will continue to work with the Board of Finance and City Council in an effort to advocate for a fiscally-responsible and educationally sound budget.
Support from the community is vital to ensure that our quality education system is not jeopardized by insufficient funding. We want you to show your support by attending Board of Finance, City Council and Board of Education meetings and by voting in the city referendum on April 25.
Thank you for supporting our community by supporting our school district during these challenging economic times.
Julia Motte is the Board of Education Chair at Dennis Berlin.