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Wilton Schools Cut Spending Plan to $74.6M

WILTON, Conn. – Wilton school spending could increase by $1.8 million even though the school district has reduced its original budget proposa for 2012-2013

That puts the total school budget request at $74.6 million; the original budget plan was closer to $75 million, according to a presentation Monday night at the Board of Education meeting. 

“I don’t think there is a line item in here that you folks haven’t looked at scrutinized, looked at, evaluated, re-evaluated and then evaluated again,” Board of Education Chair Bruce Likly told the assembled group of educators. “I don’t think I saw one number that wasn’t adjusted.”

Some changes would be:

• Special education tuition decreased to $421,923;

• Special education transportation decreased to $91,197;

• Utilities decreased to $130,130; and

• Other post-employment benefits decreased to $327,913.

One item increased was for repairs to the Miller-Driscoll Elementary School roof. “We’re going to have to put some money in to patch the roof so that we don’t sustain structural damage,” Superintendent Gary Richards said. That repair added an additional $50,000, he said.

The savings the district found were aided by the outcome of the teacher union contract arbitration, particularly from the health savings account, that will begin in the 2012-12 school year.

“We estimate that the savings from this item alone will amount to $608,000,” Richards said.

There was also a decrease in the number of new staff requested. In December, the schools were requesting six more full-time equivalent positions across the district, Richards said. But that number was reduced to two full-time equivalent positions, saving about $213,000.

“We took a hard look at the staffing since you know it’s our biggest area of cost and dramatically reduced,” Richards said.

The Board of Education will vote on the budget Feb. 9. 

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