PLAINVILLE – The school system will reduce its current budget by $220,000 because of a cut in expected state aid.
“We did institute a hard budget freeze,” said Superintendent of Schools MaureenBrummett.
The school board and town council met Thursday night to discuss the current budget and plan for the next one.
“We work hard to keep our expenditures down,” said Town Manager Robert Lee. “We get the rug pulled out from under us.”
The Town Council agreed last month to adopt a tax levy to help regain $1.9 million in reduced state aid. The levy means a tax increase of $94 for homeowners with a house valued at $178,650, assessed at $125,055.
Brummett said the reductions include the elimination of transportation for the elementary After School Program (ASP) starting in March. She said the elimination of the ASP transportation, a savings of $5,000, could result in potentially at-risk students no longer being able to participate in programs.
A teaching position at Wheeler Elementary School will remain vacant after a retirement for a savings of $60,000. The school system will also reduce maintenance costs $75,000, instructional supplies by $50,000 and eliminate a $20,000 legal retainer.
Brummett is expected to submit her proposed school budget to the board later this month. She said there is already a fixed budget increase of more than 2 percent due to increases in salaries, transportation, and health insurance.
“That would assume no staffing changes,” she said.
Historically, both the town and school budgets have had an average increase of less than 2 percent in the last nine years.
Lee said he has hope that state education funding for the town will increase again over time.
“The outlook is positive,” he said.
More than $1 million was reduced in education funding this year.