Finance board asks for 2-percent cut in school budget
Board of Finance member Anne C. Dranginis questions school officials during Monday's meeting on the Board of Education's proposed budget for next year. BZ photos
Litchfield's Board of Education will have some serious work to do on Thursday when it meets in a special session to discuss the Board of Finance request to trim its proposed budget by $300,000.
The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the high school library. On Monday, the finance board directed the school board to cut its spending plan of $16,113,143 by 2 percent, which amounts to $300,000.
"They've asked us to take a look and we'll do that," school board Chairman Frank Simone said on Tuesday. "If we do have to make these cuts, they will hurt."
The request came after Superintendent of Schools Deborah S. Wheeler presented the proposed budget to the finance board. The school board's plan is $461,393, or 2.95 percent, higher than its current budget of $15,651,750.
After presenting the proposed budget, Wheeler and director of business operations Jason Lathrop were grilled for nearly two hours by the finance board, which questioned several areas of the proposal.
The segment of the meeting ended with finance board Chairman David Geiger saying the proposed budget, while well-crafted, is too high and should be reduced in light of the school system's declining enrollment.
This year's enrollment of 1,030 students is projected to drop to 995 next year.
Board of Finance member Mitchell Fishman participates in Monday's discussion of the proposed Board of Education budget.