Stratford Public Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson’s initial proposed spending plan for the Board of Education calls for a 7.33% increase.
Robinson and other school administration officials unveiled on Tuesday a $107.3 million budget proposal for the 2016-17 fiscal year. The budget is a significant increase of the $99.99 million budget that the district is working with this year.
The proposed budget, Robinson said, is “a growth budget” aimed at recapturing lost revenues and building up the school district again.
The proposal would increase salaries by $3.45 million, other benefits by $1.17 million and special education and pupil services by $2.79 million.
“We lost a lot of positions before I got here. We’re trying to be very strategic,” Robinson said prior to the meeting.
Among her concerns are improving school security and student performance. Robinson said she wants to work on doing things that raise the academic performance of Stratford students. Part of doing that involves getting stronger instruction, more resources into the hands of teachers and more reading materials for students.
Among the staff Robinson hopes to add are eight new math coaches, a district-wide security director, money for an assistant principal at Franklin Elementary School and one to be shared by Second Hill Lane and Wilcoxson elementary schools.
While the proposed increase may seem high, Board of Ed Vice Chairman Len Petruccelli said the school board has to do what they think is best for the students.
The school board will begin hosting budget workshops to review the proposal. The first will be 6 p.m. Thursday at the Board of Ed headquarters at 1000 East Broadway. A second is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 2, also at the district headquarters.
Robinson said she expects there will be at least three to four budget workshops before the school board approves it and sends it to Mayor John Harkins for presentation to the Town Council.
Clarence Zachery, the district’s chief administrative officer, said a copy of the proposal will be available sometime Wednesday on the district’s website.