NAUGATUCK — News that the school system’s projected 2009-10 budget shortfall has shrunk to $1.55 million, down from $2.33 million on Nov. 11, was not enough to sooth tensions within and surrounding the Board of Education during a meeting last Thursday at Naugatuck High School.
The board took no action but plans to meet this week with borough officials and employee unions in hopes of balancing its books at a special meeting Thursday at 8 p.m. at Tuttle House. Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Tindall-Gibson said last month he expected the board would reconcile the budget gap by Wednesday.
A Board of Education negotiating subcommittee has met with Naugatuck Teachers’ League representatives three times since the week of Christmas, on Dec. 21, 27 and Jan. 7, but both sides have been quiet about their progress. Board Chairwoman Kathleen Donovan said only that they are working on a concession package worth about $600,000. During public comment at the end of last Thursday’s meeting, NTL President George Macary stressed the urgent need to reach a compromise but provided no details about ongoing labor talks, citing an agreement to keep such information private.