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Region 14 Board of Ed Discusses Potential Budget Reductions

Dropping freshmen boys' and girls' basketball and eliminating the director of curriculum position were discussed by the board.

 

After Bethlehem and Woodbury voters , the Board of Education met on Monday, May 14, to discuss what happens next.

Members did not vote on a new bottom line, as the full board was not present to provide input. Region 14 Board of Education Chairman Chuck Cosgriff said the goal is to schedule a special board meeting for later this week.

The budget for 2012-13 failed, 1,203 to 836 districtwide, at the May 8 referendum. The rejected budget, at $31,205,513, featured a 3.17-percent increase or $959,484 over the 2011-12 budget of $30,246,029.

"The proposal we put out to the [voters] was voted against but that doesn't stop the various initiatives that this district needs to be engaged in," said Region 14 Superintendent Jody Goeler.

He said Region 14 now has to determine how to proceed with those initiatives after the budget failed.

Possible Budget Reductions

Goeler detailed the following possible budget reductions with the board. He said he went over the potential cuts with the region's leadership team.

  • New staff: Director of curriculum — $153,658
  • 1.0 full time equivalency social worker — $78,363
  • Burner conversion — $150,000
  • Special education tuition — 15,000 (Due to a student leaving the district)
  • Pre-buy furniture — $15,000
  • Athletics — Drop freshmen boys and girls' basketball — $6,585
  • Purchased services: Athletics — $7,000
  • Reduce stipends — $5,200
  • Electric — $30,000

Total: $460,806

If the above reductions were approved by the Board of Education, the budget would then reflect a 1.65-percent increase over the 2011-12 budget, not factoring in possible offsetting revenue, Goeler said.

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Director of Curriculum

Goeler said he stands behind the position but acknowledged that voters did not seem to support the inclusion of the $153,658 director of curriculum position in the budget and felt this year was not the right year.

"There never has been a more critical time for that position to be in place," he said.

Goeler said that with the possible elimination of the director of curriculum, he is recommending $50,000 for a consultant and additional professional development support.

Pay-to-Play Sports

The board briefly discussed pay-to-play sports. Goeler said the region would get revenue but expressed concern over pitting teams against other teams.

"Is football cheaper than baseball?" he said. "It splits apart what is currently a cohesive athletic program."

Board member Maryanne Van Aken suggested the board look at Region 15's model. George Bauer said the board needs to give pay-to-play a good amount of thought before coming to a decision.

Public Comments

Duncan McDougall and Art McNally asked about obtaining existing curriculum development from other districts as a money saving technique.

Tom Arras said he knows the agriscience program is a good program but said Region 14 residents are taxed for students that do not reside in the district.

"It actually creates a deficit," he said. "What's the board going to do to make up the shortfall for out of town vo-ag students?"

Jim Uberti said he voted "yes" for the budget but said he feels like Goeler, while a great representative for the district, is not well known in the community. He said the district needs to mobilize the people who care about the children.

"We have to recognize that the children in this community keep it vibrant," he said. "They are its future."

Sean M May 15, 2012 at 01:14 PM
It is time for the government, aka Region 14, to start living like the rest of the world does. It must learn to do more with less. Spending continues to go up and up while enrollment goes down. The school board and system has this notion that it is government's job to do things for people. People need to do things for themselves. Why is it the school systems job to deal with family issues with a social worker? Where is the parental responsibility? I heard more than once that the school system is somehow responsible for student results. The students and the parents have to take initiative for education. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. This is a flawed concept that somehow teachers can make students learn. Students have to want to learn. Nothing government can do will make people want to learn.
Sean M May 15, 2012 at 01:14 PM
My first impression of the new superintendent is positive. He strikes me as an intellectually honest man.
Joe alurie May 15, 2012 at 02:06 PM
As a concerned citizen of Woodbury, Regarding Region 14 new proposed budget As a senior who has been living in Woodbury over 50 years I will not be able to lived here due to the high property taxes When does it stop our teachers salaries are hurting the seniors we cannot afford the property taxes Here are a few examples of some of the outrageous salaries We have librarians making over 80,000 a year We have first grade teachers making over 90,000 a year We have second grade teachers making over 86,000 a year Even College professors don’t make that much As retired senior citizen, we cannot afford increases of property taxes, for individuals to take advantage of the current system. Please vote NO ! So the seniors citizen on a fix income can stayed in Woodbury Sincerely, John Auioe 621 Transylvania Road Woodbury CT 06798 Concerned citizen of Woodbury, Ct
Bob May 15, 2012 at 04:08 PM
As a teacher, the idea of a curriculum coordinator is ridiculous. We follow the Ct Common core standards which is the curriculum. Their are also new national standards which CT has adapted too. I cant believed that they would cut 35,000 for texts books (and theirs are really outdated and beat up) which would have a larger impact on more students than one more admin job for a 150,000 dollars which is not needed.

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