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Region 14 Budget Fails at Referendum

Voters came out for the second time, with the same outcome as the May 8 Region 14 budget referendum.

 

The Region 14 Board of Education is going back to the drawing board after Bethlehem and Woodbury residents voted the budget down for the second time.

The community voted the budget down, 1,210 to 843, at the Wednesday, June 6, referendum at Memorial Hall in Bethlehem and the .

Bethlehem

  • Yes: 175
  • No: 293

Woodbury

  • Yes: 668
  • No: 917

The rejected budget amount, at $30,817,765, reflects a $571,736 increase, or 1.89 percent, over the 2011-12 budget of $30,246,029.

At prior budget meetings, residents expressed concern over Region 14 Superintendent Jody Goeler's support of the director of curriculum and instruction position, prompting .

Woodbury-Middlebury Patch reader left the following comment on the

I would vote for the budget if the curriculum job was taken out of the budget. The job pays 150K, that’s 3 teachers, 5 EA's, or new text books for the next decade. Other towns give department head’s a 5-10k stipend to make the curriculum. Since they work with the subject everyday in their job, they have a better feeling for what works, what doesn't, and what is needed. Save the money and pay an employee to do the job with a stipend. But a new 150k admin job is a waste of money.

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commented on the article too, saying he voted against the budget.

I voted NO and hope all reasonable voters will, too, or we'll never get out of this recession.

Palin Smith June 07, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Gee.....a big surge in voting after noon. Looks like the voters are serious this time. Too bad the BOE is still in limbo.
tom arras June 07, 2012 at 02:20 AM
I hope the Board of Ed and Jody get the idea this time. Or.........we could just keep offering refresher courses in financial prudence at intervals of every 3 weeks or so throughout the summer in the form of referendums, but that's just a waste. Give us what the Board of Finance asked for- a zero mil increase budget- and the budget will pass. So far you are just irritating voters to get the same results. If you can't understand this, then I have serious doubts about collective ability to effectively manage a school system!
Sean M June 07, 2012 at 02:56 AM
The problem in government and education specifically is people who work for the government have not had to earn revenue in the real world. They are used to just demanding money for their programs and just getting it. They have no respect for efficiency of the use of money, though it may or may not be intentional. The Wisconsin recall race proved that Americans who fund government are sick and tired of being used as an ATM. The revolt will continue until the problem is fixed.
Bob June 07, 2012 at 11:57 AM
I don’t think a zero percent budget is realistic since schools have to cover the rising cost of gas for busses, heating oil, and rising health care costs. And unlike businesses that are not offering salary increases at the time and are eating the cost of the rising oil and healthcare, schools are non-profit so someone has to pay for these increases which are us. So, a zero percent is just not feasible. I would have voted for the budget if the curriculum job had not been included. The position is not needed, could be done by teachers if given stipends and it would be a lot cheaper and more effective. It sounds to me as if the position is really just wanted as a sneaky way of getting an assistant superintendent without calling it that.
tom arras June 07, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Let's see........Oil has gone down, gas has gone down, health care costs can be coped with in the terms of increased co-pays like they've been dealt with in the private sector( good timing with a contract coming up ), and then we have the decreased enrollment projections of 76 fewer students next year.........I think the Board of Finance is being very realistic asking for a zero mil increase budget! The 76 fewer students alone would have cost over $1MILLION to educate, and if the numbers hold true about 10% of that 76 students would have been special ed students that cost an average of $55,000-$58,000 per year when we send them out of district. Yes, I think zero mil increase is very realistic
Tom Ashmore June 07, 2012 at 12:28 PM
I mean No disrespect but i just do not understand something. The superintendent Jody Goeler wants a director of curriculum. Well he already has one! Him. As I read the job discription for superintendent of schools for Region 14 it clearly states in two places that The superindent assume overall responsibility for developing and maintaining curriculum for all subjects and programs. Now if he cannot do what he was hired to do then perhaps he should have his pay reduced or perhaps we should replace him. That is what I do not understand if you take a job and understand your duties and then do not want to do them, why are you there? I have been in business for 45 years and fully understand budgets and job discriptions but do not understand this. Thank you Tom Ashmore Woodbury CT
Bob June 07, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I see no problems with increased co-pay and I think that as the enrollment goes down, so should the costs. But oil and gas have only just recently gone down. How much has it increased since the fiscal year started? Someone has to cover those costs.

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