Somers Public Schools
March 08, 2021 6:30 PM
Board of Education Public Hearing on 21-22 Budget
1. Somers Board of Education Public Hearing on 21-22 Budget
Rationale

There will be a Public Hearing on the 2021-2022 Somers Public Schools Budget.

Attachments
Discussion

The public hearing was called to order at 6:32 p.m. by Chairman Devlin via Zoom.  Chairman Devlin introduced Superintendent Czapla to present the Somers Public Schools 2021-2022 budget.

Superintendent Czapla stated that the 2021-2022 budget was approved by the BOE on 2/8/21. Budget decisions were to reflect the vision and goals set forth in the Strategic Plan.  The 2021-2022 budget priorities include increasing student achievement and educational opportunities, providing students with appropriate pupil support services, and continuing to update and maintain safe facilities. 

The 2021-2022 budget was approved for $25,409,742 which is an increase of $719,742 or 2.92% from this current year's budget.  When the budget was initially proposed in January, it was well over $1,000,000 or 4.15% of an increase.  However, negotiations with health insurance premiums and a reduction in salary line items due to retirements and resignations led to $306,000 in savings. 

Salaries along with insurance and benefits account for the largest portion of the budget.  The nondiscretionary or contractual obligations make up 92.7% of the budget (salaries, insurance and benefits, tuition, transportation, and utilities).  The discretionary categories (maintenance, instructional resources, equipment, extracurricular, and administrative overhead) make up 7.3% of the budget.

There were requests that are not able to funded at this time including:

  • Part-time Kindergarten Paraeducators
  • Grade 2 Teacher
  • Elementary Special Education Teacher
  • Safety and Security Officer
  • Pre-K Transportation
  • Miscellaneous Capital Outlay
  • SES Building Substitute
  • Special Education Support Staff Hours

Superintendent Czapla presented the PPE (Per Pupil Expenditure) which is the rate at which it costs a town to educate a student.  In Somers, the average cost is $17,919.  In the State of CT, the average cost is $18,240.  In DRG-C, the average cost is $19,243.  Somers continues to fall below the CT average while providing quality education.

SPS anticipates help from the State and federal government. There are future impacts that are not currently in the budget including:

  • Kindergarten enrollment
  • Elementary school enrollment increase
  • Remote learning teachers, tutors and interventionists, expanded programming
  • Curriculum modification
  • Assessment and data analytic tools
  • Special education
  • PPE, sanitizing supplies
  • Legal issues
  • SES ventilation system upgrade

Covid-19 expenditures in 2019-20 totaled $140,587.  Expenditures in 2020-21 have totaled $184,333 in preventative measures.  ESSER grant money in the amount of $38,879 and CRF grant money in the amount of $157,379 were received.  SEF generously donated $47,800 to meet needs. 

Chairman Devlin invited questions from the Zoom audience.  No questions were asked.

The BOE Public Hearing adjourned at 6:48 p.m.