2019-20 Superintendent's Proposed Budget

This 2019-20 proposed budget of $23,914,137 represents an increase of 4.78% to the 2018-2019 budget.  The increase is due to the identified needs of the school district as well as our commitment to contractual and legal obligations.  Additionally, the substantial budget reductions during the past two years ($381,500) are forcing us to make up for the impact on programs, equipment, supplies, and resources necessary for high-quality educational programming.

Contractual, legal and other obligations continue to account for the majority of expenditures.  These nondiscretionary expenses are 93% of the budget.  Expenditures such as health care and special education are difficult to predict and increase annually.  Last year, the school district negotiated no increase in health care premiums.  This year we anticipate an increase of nine percent. Negotiated collective bargaining agreements account for increased wage adjustments.

Social and emotional needs of students in Somers, and nationwide, continue to put a strain on staff and budgets, and can have negative impacts on learning.  There is a significant increase in the number of students affected by mental health issues.  The Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut recommends a shift from crisis management to early identification, prevention, and a continuum of services.  Currently, our staff is unable to adequately provide these services due to the increase of students with emotional issues.  We are requesting a new social worker position at SES to assist with servicing students with impactful mental health needs.  Additionally, we seek to develop and implement a district-wide social and emotional learning curriculum.

Academic achievement deficits must also be addressed.  Current standardized testing results do not reflect the level of achievement expected of a Somers student.  An in-depth analysis recommends numerous curricular and instructional interventions to put us on the path of improving student achievement.  Additional funds are being requested to provide the essential materials to support a differentiated readers workshop model of instruction.  Research has shown that fidelity to such a program results in substantial increases in literacy.

Facilities maintenance is another area requiring significant attention.  The recent approval of the referendum supporting our Long-Range Facilities Plan demonstrates the impact of ignoring regularly scheduled maintenance.  The district must commit to responsibly addressing these issues instead of deferring them.  Additional funds have been proposed for maintenance so we may continue to provide safe and secure facilities.

We trust you will support and approve this budget.  It addresses many of the issues resulting from recent budget cuts while meeting the academic, social and emotional needs of our students.

 

Respectfully,

Brian P. Czapla

Superintendent of Schools

IMPORTANT DATES


February 25:  Superintendent presentation to the BOF 

March 11:  Public Hearing (6:00pm @ SHS)

March 25:  BOF votes on BOE Budget

April 23:  BOF Finance Public Hearing

May 7:  Annual Town Meeting

May 14:  Budget Referendum



FULL BUDGET BOOK

   *    Budget History

   *    Budget Summary

   *    Budget Detail

   *     Impacts

   *    Request Not Funded

   *    Town Comparisons