Cheshire school superintendent seeks 4 percent increase in funding

Cheshire school superintendent seeks 4 percent increase in funding

CHESHIRE – The school superintendent’s budget request for the next fiscal year calls for a 4 percent increase in spending.

Superintendent Jeff Solan presented his recommendation to the school board last week.

“What I am asking for is roughly a 4.05 percent increase to last year’s request, which comes out to $76,330,052,” Solan told the board. “I always look at the budget process as extremely fluid, and at the end of the day our students are at the center of it all...”

The budget request, roughly $3 million higher than current spending levels, is broken down into teacher and staff salaries, employee benefits, support services –  including transportation – instructional expenses and maintenance/operations, which includes utilities.

“Of the budget I am requesting, about 80 percent of it is going to salaries and benefits for our employees,” Solan said.

Salary increases this year total $1,079,387 more than last year because the district recently hired seven new instructional aides. Solan also intends to hire two additional building security monitors for Chapman and Norton schools.

At the Jan. 10 meeting, Solan also addressed enrollment.

“According to the New England School Development Council, next year’s Grade One is expected to be about 5.8 percent larger than the previous kindergarten class,” he said. “In general, our enrollment has reached a bit of a plateau, and soon it will begin to increase again.”

Solan then presented the per pupil expenditure, which he said is $925 less than the state average.

“Cheshire’s 2018-2019 per pupil spending ranks 122nd out of 166 Connecticut school districts,” he said. “And our return on investment speaks for itself. Our students are consistently achieving great things and we are here as a community to support that.”