The superintendent's proposed $187. 6 million spending plan for 2011-2012 has no surprises. It maintains services without adding new programs, school board members said.
The plan serves the needs of the city's 10,100 students and the board doesn't expect to make major reductions until the city makes its allocation.
But Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said Friday he was sure there would not be money for the $4.7 million or 4.1 percent increase over current spending.
If you recall, last year the board recommended a 3.81 percent increase which was dead on arrival by the time it was presented to the mayor and city council. Instead, the council gave the board of ed a 1.79 percent increase, which resulted in some rather drastic cuts in school services, which included the accelerated closing of Mill Ridge Intermediate School, the elimination of paraprofessionals in elementary school, and well other cuts in services.
Needless to say that last year's budget allocation from the city council resulted in hardships at the schools, which are reflected in the number of teachers and parents expressing their concerns towards the board of education about the state of school system over the past year.
One board member sums up the attempt to decrease school's budget proposal...
"If we have to cut more, we'll have to cut into the classroom," she said, "and I don't know how the teachers will be able to do what they have to do."
I have the feeling that this year's wrangling over the education budget is going to make last year's battle look like child's play.
MUCH more later.