District meeting to decide school budget

PROSPECT — Region 16’s roughly $40.73 million budget proposal for the 2019-20 fiscal year will be voted on at a district meeting May 6.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Long River Middle School, 38 Columbia Ave. Voting will be done by paper ballot. Voting will be closed when the voters present have voted.

The budget proposal keeps school spending for the region, which is comprised of Beacon Falls and Prospect, at the same level as this fiscal year.

Even though spending isn’t going up, the projected net education cost to the towns aren’t staying the same.

Officials estimate that Prospect’s net education cost will increase about $560,000, or 3 percent, while Beacon Falls’ net cost will decrease about $158,000, or 1.4 percent.

The figures are based on projected cuts in state education funding in Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposed two-year state budget, which is likely to change as the proposal works its way through the state legislative process.

Also, the disparity in the projected impact to the net education costs is due to a shift in student population. The net cost, which is the share of the school budget funded by local taxes, is divided between the two towns based on the ratio of students as of Oct. 1. The percentage of Prospect students in the district increased slightly to 61.78 percent, while the percentage of students from Beacon Falls decreased to 38.22 percent.