February 22, 2017
UNION BOARD OF EDUCATION February 22, 2017
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by A. Estell at 6:30 p.m.
- A. Estell, J. Zieger, J. Swanson, A. Blank, J. Garden, J. Reardon, Supt., S. Jackopsic, Prin., Michele Powers, State Representative Pat Boyd, G. Barillaro-teacher & townspeople. H. Matthews was not present.
State Representative/State Budget Discussion-State Representative Pat Boyd discussed the Governor’s proposed budget, that essentially, benefits 31 towns and harms the other 138 towns with reduced funding. June 7th is the deadline for the State of Connecticut to have a budget passed. With the proposal, there are drastic changes in policies. Rural areas have been fiscally sound but the Governor’s proposal would likely increase local property taxes. The Governor’s proposal also includes local tax dollars to be used for teacher pensions. Under the Governor’s proposal, there would be increased operating costs and less state aid. Most towns need to pass their budget before the state’s budget. He also stated that there is a lack of understanding at the state level of what goes on in the Northeast corner. Another proposed bill would alter the governance at Woodstock Academy.
Superintendent Reardon stated that the state needs to streamline expenses and not take on “new” projects such as renovating the XL Center, other sports venues or “Lock Box” highways. Changes to ECS money would hurt everybody. He also encouraged the need for the state to look at the School Finance Project for long-term ideas/planning and suggested a study should be in the works to make more educated and sound decisions to help the state’s budget crisis. It defies logic to cut funding to RESCs, which support regional efforts.
Questions/comments posed by BOE members:
-Why have Charter Schools received increased funding?
-Why aren’t businesses/corporations affected by the fiscal crisis?
-Andrea has received several emails from other BOE chairpersons about budget development. There is a general sense to hold firm and wait to see what happens at the state level. There is much interest to preserve school systems and services to students. ECS needs to be looked at using more relevant figures.
Local Budget-We will be reviewing the budget as we get more specific numbers in for insurances, tuition numbers, etc. The town meeting budget will be held before the state budget is passed. In current budget proposal, there is no expanded programming or increased personnel. At this point in time, there is an approximately $70,000.00 balance in the FY 2017 budget.
Day on the Hill-Students in grades 2-8 will be attending. Students in grades 2-4 will also attend the CT Science Center as part of the trip. Students in grades 5-8 will make some materials for distribution prior to attending. Pat Boyd will greet our students.
INDIVIDUALS TO BE HEARD
Motion by J. Zieger to adjourn at 7:40 p.m. Seconded by A. Estell. Passed unanimously.
Respectfully Submitted, Michele Powers