Superintendent William Guzman presented a $37,470,299 school district budget, which is an increase of 4.95 percent from the current fiscal year budget, at the school board's Wednesday meeting.
The difference amounts to $1,768,071, according to the budget packet handed out at the meeting. Guzman said that the budget presentation will be uploaded to the school district website sometime on Thursday.
Due to declining student enrollment projections, nearly 9 positions could be eliminated. In the budget packet, these positions are listed as:
- Grade 1 Teacher 1.0 Full-Time Employee
- Grade 2 Teacher 1.0 Full-Time Employee
- Grade 4 Teacher 1.0 Full-Time Employee
- Grade 5 Teacher 1.0 Full-Time Employee
- Music Teacher 0.4 Full-Time Employee
- Grade 6 Teacher 2.0 Full-Time Employee
- Computer Education 1.0 Full-Time Employee
- Technology Education 0.5 Full-Time Employee
- English Teacher 1.0 Full-Time Employee
According to the budget packet, the proposed position cuts amount to $587,418 in salary and benefits.
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The New England School Development Council (NESDEC) estimates that 2,707 students will be enrolled in Tolland schools next year, a decrease of 130 students. Guzman said that enrollment has been declining at an average of over 100 students a year for the last several years.
"This is probably one of the lowest percentages that I've come to the board with," Guzman said of the 4.95 percent increase. "We understand the economic times, but we also recognize the needs that we have to address. As an educator, I want us to provide the best we can for our students."
Guzman noted that the proposed budget maintains current pay-to-participate fees. He also said that he discussed the possibility of implementing full-day kindergarten in Tolland schools, but ultimately decided against it.
Guzman also estimated that Tolland could receive about $10 million in grants from the state.
The school board's next scheduled meeting is Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m.