The Windsor Board of Education adopted its 2013-2014 financial plan. As a community, that collective investment measured in dollars for the 2013-2014 school year, including expected State funding ($13.1mm) for education, is $63, 994, 896.
This represents an increase of 2.49% over this school year’s budget. This increase is largely due to contractual obligations, transportation, magnet school tuition and special education costs.
This budget facilitates important work underway in our schools, for example:
- Implementation of Common Core Curricula in mathematics and English language arts (www.corestandards.org).
- Implementation of the Connecticut System of Educator Evaluation and Development: created by State law – an evaluation system designed to ensure there is a highly effective teacher in each classroom (www.connecticutseed.org).
- Implementation of an Holistic Accountability Model: provides for alignment between Board of Education goals, budget and district improvement initiatives.
- Implementation across district of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS): evidenced-based practices for improving academic and behavioral outcomes for all students (www.pbis.org).
- Maintains districts commitment to foreign language in elementary schools (FLES).
The budget includes 15 hours of additional instruction time (as a result of recently concluded contract negotiations with our teachers, instructional time will increase to 15 hours per year for three years to 45 hours).
This budget also reflects savings and reductions in certain expenditures over the prior year:
Savings: The Board’s largest contractual obligation is salaries and benefits. This line item increased by 1.03% even though our negotiated salary increase for next year is 3%.
The Board’s decision to move to a self-funded health insurance plan measurably contained cost in this area.
Reductions: Instructional services of $72.6K – due to reorganization of elementary schools and more efficient use of human resources.
We often get asked, "Where are the savings from reduction in student enrollment?"
Over the past few years the Board has sought to optimize facilities' use and reduce staff to a level consistent with student enrollment.
2012-2013 Budget: 0.99% increase - Closed Roger Wolcott - Net staff reductions of 15.9 positions (includes staff reductions at the middle and high school, elimination of 1 administrator and staffing of full-day kindergarten). Dollar value of staff reductions in excess of $1.2 million.
2011-2012 Budget: 1.82% - It is important to note here that had we maintained the same level of services from the prior year, the increase would have been 3.14%, hence a reduction in services was necessary to achieve a low budget increase.
2010-2011 Budget: 0% - Staff reductions – 18.5 positions including 2.5 administrators. Dollar value of staff reductions: over $1.2 million. Additional reductions totaling over $150K.
2009-2010 Budget: 1.98% - Staff reductions: 38 positions including 2 administrators. Dollar value of staff reductions: $1.6 million. Additional reductions totaling $148K.
Enrollment projections suggest that student enrollment has stabilized.
It is therefore highly unlikely that there will be further significant reductions in staff or facilities. If economic development plans for the Town materialize as planned this would most likely hold true over time.
The challenge for our Board is not in trimming excess from our education budget; that has been done. Our challenge and opportunity is one we share with the State and our nation: ensuring that each and every child in our care graduates with the skills, aptitude and character necessary to sustain themselves and improve the communities in which they live. This is the work to which the Board, our Superintendent and staff is dedicated. Thank you for your continued support of Windsor Public Schools.