School board finalizes 2017-2018 budget
FAIRFIELD — The school board’s spending plan for next year became final Tuesday night after a maintenance project was cut from the $168.7 million budget.
The budget passed through town bodies largely intact; only $33,000 were trimmed from the plan. The 2017-2018 budget was approved at $168,724,490 by the Representative Town Meeting, its final stage of approval, and Board of Education members unanimously approved the small cut June 13.
Funds for a flooring maintenance project at Tomlinson Middle School were reduced by $33,000 to balance the budget at the recommendation of school district Director of Operations Thomas Cullen. The budget retains $9,185 in funding for preliminary work on the project.
Alongside the cut was a list of potential ways to address possible state funding cuts. This budget season has come with unusual uncertainty over where the state’s two-year budget will leave funding and grants, in particular for Connecticut’s wealthier towns. School district leadership compiled a list of $2.4 million in potential budget savings if state special education funding is changed, causing reductions for Fairfield.
Among the list are just over $900,000 in maintenance projects that could be delayed and $1.2 million in cuts to curriculum work, busing, supplies, staff positions currently empty and more slightly higher-impact areas. Chairman Philip Dwyer said the list of possible cuts is “dynamic” and could change with time and as the state’s budget develops.
2017-2018 school budget funds in reserve
Tier 1 potential savings
FLHS Tennis Court Project, $41,750
FWHS Tennis Court Project, $90,780
FWMS Music Suite Flooring, $127,500
FWMS Admin Carpet, $28,700
Maintenance Preventative/Systems/Painting, $285,000
Playground Maintenance/Rubber ECC, $100,000
Project - Mill Hill, $24,965
Pre-K Playground Stratfield, $43,000
Maintenance Technical Consultants, $75,000
Total Maintenance Funds in Reserve, $916,695
Tier 2 potential savings
Homebound Instruction, $50,000
One bus reduction, $72,000
2.0 FTE HS Positions (1.0 PE and 1.0 Other), $150,000
Program Implementation Supplies, $200,000
Summer Curriculum Work, $148,748
District Professional Development, $50,000
10 Percent School Allocation for Supplies, $241,123
District Improvement Plan Program Implementations, $147,890
Freeze Secondary Central Office Administrative Position, $167,401
Total Other Funds in Reserve, $1,227,162
Additional Funds to Reserve, To Be Determined $235,460 savings to be found throughout the school year