Board of Education backs spending plan

NAUGATUCK — The Board of Education voted last week to accept the $61.7 million spending plan for 2016-17.

The proposed school budget, which was presented by Superintendent of Schools Sharon Locke on Feb. 18, doesn’t increase spending. The school board will present its budget request to the Joint Boards of Finance and Mayor and Burgesses on Monday night.

“I think that the administration did a great job in working on the budget,” school board Chairwoman Dorothy Neth-Kunin said. “I think that the budget certainly reflects the needs of the kids in the district. We’re really happy with the way it worked out. The board is happy with the outcome of a zero increase.”

Although there is no overall increase in the budget, salaries are set to go about $1 million, or 3.11 percent, to $35 million. The cost for transportation and tuition is also going up a little more than $92,000, or about 1.7 percent.

Increases in the budget were offset by decreases in other areas.

The capital projects budget is going down $316,263, or 48.8 percent, the cost for supplies and utilities is down $500,520, or 16.9 percent, contracted services is down $173,906, or 5.3 percent; and employee benefits is down $159,533, or 1 percent.

The proposed budget calls for adding the equivalent of 4.5 full-time teacher positions and three part-time custodians. The additional positions come after the board reduced staff by 20 full-time positions in the current budget.

The budget also eliminates the pay-to-play program at Naugatuck High School and City Hill Middle School. This means the athletic supplies account will go up $35,000, but the increase will be absorbed in the budget.

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