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New Buses Cut Costs for Wilton Schools

WILTON, Conn. – The $74.5 million Wilton school budget for 2012-13 was unanimously approved by the Board of Education on Thursday night after a new bus contract was adopted.

All members of the board expressed their support for the 2.39 percent increase over the 2011-12 budget. The budget had previously been set at $74.6 million. But by adopting the new transportation contract, also approved Thursday night, the school budget was reduced by $90,000.

The new buses in the five-year contract with Student Transportation of America have substantial improvements in safety, GPS and heating systems, Ellen Andrews, director of human resources for Wilton schools, told the board.

“We are very excited about this contract because we will be ordering buses tomorrow,” Andrews said. The district will be getting a brand-new fleet.

“District savings and new busses, that’s awesome,” Chairman Bruce Likly said.

Overall, “I think some tough decisions were made by the administration and the principals,” said Gilmore Bray, vice chair of the Board of Education.

Wilton Superintendent Gary Richards, agreed, saying “our ongoing efforts in cost savings,” through arbitration of teacher contracts, the new transportation contract, energy projects and working with the town, is where much of the savings came from.

“We’ve had to make some substantial cuts,” Likly said. “I see and feel the thoughtfulness with which this budget was developed.”

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