At a public hearing last week, the RSD-13 Board of Education presented a proposed budget with a 0 percent increase over the current year. The board’s net operating school budget proposal for the 2020-2021 fiscal year totals $34,602,207.
“This will be a very challenging budget for us next year depending on how we open and run schools next year,” Board Chairman Robert Moore said. “This budget may have to have some reallocation of resources within it in order to meet the changing demands for shorter school hours, various sessions, transportation, smaller classrooms and whatever is necessary to meet the demands of the next school year.”
To offset any increased costs, Director of Finance Kimberly Neubig said the school board would be using an “anticipated estimated surplus” from the 19-20 budget in the amount of $616,501.
According to Superintendent Dr. Kathryn Serino, the new budget has “two defining features”: extensive student and teacher support and addressing capital needs across the district.
Salaries and benefits were increased in the proposed budget. Serino contributed this to a need for more instructors for summer school and “support services for specialized student populations.”
Salaries saw an increase of $100,216, while benefits were increased $405,542.
Buildings and grounds saw an increase of $274,277 for repairs across the district. These include repairs to the tennis courts and outdoor basketball courts at Coginchaug High, security blinds at Brewster Elementary and tennis court and playground repairs at Memorial Middle School.