PLAINVILLE — The Board of Education recently approved a $39.2 million school budget, nearly $1 million more than the previous budget.
The budget, a 2.61 percent increase in spending over last year, now goes to the Town Council. The council can modify the budget before it goes to referendum April 28.
The school board’s 6 to 2 vote saw the Democratic members joined by Republican Nicole Palmiere in supporting the budget. Republicans Deborah Hardy and Laurie Peterson voted in opposition. Democrat Rebecca Martinez was not present for the vote.
Palmiere voiced her support for the budget before voting by saying that she parsed through it line-by-line multiple times looking for potential cuts.
In approving the $39.2 million spending plan, the board left intact the budget submitted by School Superintendent Steven LePage.
“If I thought there was any places that could be reduced, I would have spoken up and I would have had ideas…” Palmiere said. “I think it’s irresponsible to cut a budget with no ideas on how to do so.”
The increase is driven by salaries and benefits the district is contractually obligated to provide staff, which add up to $972,354.
The school board is also seeking nearly $700,000 in capital funding for facility and technology upgrades and maintenance.