First Board of Ed budget proposal calls for 7.3% increase

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.

About author
Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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  • Tina Marie

    Concerned that the $ added to this budget is not being used to lower classroom sizes. As I see, there is a lot in there related to adding additional administrators and “coaches.” The study done by the BOE only compared classes with coaches and without. Did it also look at how performance compared between classes with 18 in a classroom and those with close to 30? I’m sure those results would be just as striking.

  • George Mulligan

    I’m not sure class room size and abilities to teach or learn are always true?
    Many colleges have much larger lecture halls ….

    If you find the right HOT BUTTON for each individual ANY ONE will WANT to LEARN!
    – Many children who can’t or won’t learn POETRY and LANGUAGE ARTS can SING or RAP every LINE – V E R B A T I M – to their favorite recording Artist.

    FIELD OF DREAMS James Earl Jones character taught VIDEO GAMES.
    Children have to UNDERSTAND the ALPHABET to hit the RIGHT KEY BOARD letters to get the right result ….

    Can’t learn foreign language like French, German, Italian, Hebrew, Mandarin, or other LANGUAGES? All programs are LANUAGES with PROTOCOLS for Translations.

    Hate MATH ….. Baseball Batting Averages – Foot ball running, receiving percentages are all ratios and division / multiplication – Same with wining percentage …
    * GEOMETRY not applicable on real life? Try remodeling or building anything. Need to be able to make RIGHT ANGLES work and figure ratios and exact role
    of size in every use of STONE, WOOD, METAL, PLASTIC, COMPOSITE.
    * Music has MATH relationships in composition to the point where many songs are FORMULA creations.

    Bad with chemistry? Many Druggies could major in Pharmacology

    The list goes on ….. Jailing people is bad economics with bad humanities, whereas GOOD EDUCATION leads to a fuller life with people being able to give back to the community when healthy economic principles are applied.
    – If Democratic, Republican, and other political gremlins were as enlightened and humane as many in Healthcare and Humanities, the HUMAN progress would be a geometric progressive growth comparable to technological rate of advance.

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