Two possible budget increases were discussed among Region 14 Board of Education members, administrators and a few members of the public at the Tuesday, March 20, budget workshop at .
The 2012-13 budget is still in draft form. Earlier, in the budget season, Superintendent Jody Goeler presented a budget to the board that featured a 7.7-percent increase over the 2011-12 approved budget.
As the budget season progressed, the 7.7-percent increase was lowered to 3.7-percent, then 3.58-percent.
At the , the draft 2012-13 Region 14 budget, at $31,329,022, featured a 3.58-percent increase, or $1,082,993, more than the 2011-12 budget of $30,246,029.
Since then, the possible percentage increases were lowered to two options discussed on March 20:
- A 3.48-percent increase over last year's budget
- A 3.28-percent increase over last year's budget
The draft budget with a 3.48-percent increase features two elementary class size cuts. The 3.28-percent draft budget features three elementary class size cuts, Goeler explained.
The board did not make any decisions on a budget to bring before voters. are scheduled to meet with the school board at 6 p.m. Monday, March 26, in the library.
Goeler said he feels good about the present state of the draft budget.
"When we take into account the 12 hours we spent in workshops, I feel really good about a 3.48-percent [increase] that has some enhancements in the budget that meets our needs," he said.
Goeler said he feels the public will lend their support to a budget with a 3.48-percent increase.
Getting the message out to voters and explaining the budget process clearly and openly was labeled a priority by board members and the residents who spoke at the meeting.
Nonnewaug High School principal Andrew O'Brien said investing in the school district means investing in the community.
"I think it's important the message be that of hope and encouragement," he said.
Alice Jones, principal of , said an important message to send to the residents is that the communities will be uplifted by a strong educational system.
Would you support one of the potential budget increases discussed at the March 20 meeting? Vote in our poll and share your thoughts in the comments section.