NEW BRITAIN â€“ The Board of Education officially kicked off the cityâ€™s annual budget discussions Monday, its first meeting of 2019, when the body was presented with Superintendent Nancy Sarraâ€™s budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
Kevin Kane, chief financial officer for the school district, presented Sarraâ€™s requested 2019-2020 operating budget of $130,710,625 during Mondayâ€™s meeting. The total represents a $5,010,625 increase, 3.99 percent, from the school districtâ€™s current budget of $125.7 million.
A majority of the increases in the budget request are due to insurance, fringe benefits and salary increases.
As Kane told the board in November, the school district slipped from 167th to 168th out of 169 municipalities in the state in terms of per-pupil expenditure in the 2017-2018 school year. The district has about 10,000 students.
Following Kaneâ€™s presentation, the Board of Education formally adopted the budget request. The board will now forward the request to the city before officially presenting the request to the cityâ€™s Board of Finance sometime before April.
The last time the Board of Education received a budget increase was a $2.5 million increase from the 2015-2016 fiscal year to the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
Last June, the Board of Education adopted a budget of $125.7 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year, the same amount it was allotted in 2017-2018. Sarra had previously asked for at least $2.5 million in additional money from the school districtâ€™s 2017-2018 budget. An amended version of the current budget proposed by Common Council Democrats would have given more than $400,000 in additional money to the district, but it was ultimately vetoed by Mayor Erin Stewart.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.