CHESHIRE — Last week, the Town Council announced it would be cutting the Board of Education’s requested budget as part of a plan to ensure a zero mill rate increase for residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Board of Education budget will be roughly $74,539,926, about $960,000 less than what Superintendent of Schools Jeff Solan requested earlier this year.
In response to those cuts, the Board of Education Finance Committee met on Wednesday.
“A majority of our budget goes directly to staffing and personnel; about $33 million of our operating budget…” Solan said during the virtual meeting. “We do now have to discuss things like teacher and staff reductions ultimately.”
Solan informed the Finance Committee that he and his team are looking into reducing the staff at Cheshire High School by two teachers, one in the English department and the other in special education. School officials are also considering cutting two teachers at Dodd Middle School.
“The reduction of the Dodd teachers would make the class sizes roughly equal to the state average,” Solan said.
“I am not happy with the idea that we may need to cut an English teacher from the high school,” said board member Anne Harrigan. “Can we shift things around and reevaluate things so that would not have to happen?”
“If we could, I would prefer we don’t lay anyone off given the current circumstances, but if we cannot avoid it I understand,” added board member Tim White
Solan also said that security improvements at Norton and Chapman schools will be delayed. The work was slated to start this summer.