Letter from Superintendent about Proposed Budget

January 23, 2017

On Thursday, January 19, I presented the Superintendent’s proposed 2017-18 budget to the Board of Education. The budget was developed in collaboration with our finance director and our administrators. The development process began by reviewing the goals and strategic actions we have identified for the schools and district as a whole. The expenditures in the budget support these efforts. 

This budget builds from the 2016-17 budget which focused on reducing class size at the middle school, enhancing our professional learning work with teachers, and providing the leadership and money necessary to continually evaluate and revise our curriculum and instructional practices. 

In addition, the proposed 2017-18 budget meets our obligations for negotiated salary increases, health insurance and other benefits, and increased transportation costs. Other highlights include: 

• Money for books to add to classroom libraries used for reading instruction in all grades; 
• The addition of teacher leaders for curriculum evaluation and development in the arts; 
• Maintaining up to date technology resources; 
• Addition of one grade 5 teacher to keep class size within Board guidelines; 
• Reduction of two elementary teachers due to declining enrollment; 
• Reinstatement of a “contingency teacher” to staff a position should enrollment exceed projections; 
• Reduction in cost of benefits and energy costs. 

The budget will be reviewed in detail at two upcoming workshops on January 26 and February 2. The Board will vote on the final budget on February 9. All Board meetings will begin at 7:30 in Council Chambers. The adopted budget is then forwarded on to the Town Council for further review. The Town Council may accept the budget as presented or request revisions. Once the Council agrees on the budget it becomes part of the overall town budget and is brought to the community for adoption at the town meeting. The Board of Education will present its budget to the Town Council in April—tentatively scheduled for April 6 at 7:00pm in Council Chambers; watch our website for confirmation. The Town Meeting will be held on May 9 at 7:00pm in the auditorium of Mansfield Middle School. 

The Board of Education proposed budget and all presentation material may be found on our website (or directly at http://www.mansfieldct.gov/mboebudget). I encourage you to review the materials posted and attend the upcoming Board of Education, Town Council, and Town Meeting events to remain informed and involved. 

Sincerely,

Kelly M. Lyman