Litchfield News

Region 6 board reduces superintendent's plan (02-07-17)

Morris First Selectman Thomas Weik, left, Goshen First Selectman Robert P. Valentine, center, and Warren First Selectman Craig Nelson met Monday to express their opposition to the initial budget proposed by Region 6 Superintendent of Schools Edward Drapp. BZ photo
Region 6 Superintendent Edward Drapp and the district’s Board of Education got a loud and clear message regarding the budget Drapp proposed for 2017-18.
The board on Monday approved $291,430 in cuts Drapp recommended to his proposed budget of $19,736,803, which showed an increase of $823,559, or 4.35 percent, over the current budget of $18,913,244.
The new spending plan of $19,445,373 is $532,129, or 2.81 percent, higher than the current budget.
Drapp recommended the cuts after town officials in Warren, Morris and Goshen expressed concern about the initial budget be proposed in January. Each town would have seen significant increases in their share of education spending under the proposal.
The potential loss of more state aid this year also had town officials wary. On Monday morning, the first selectmen in Warren, Morris and Goshen issued a joint statement asking Drapp and the school board to reduce the proposed budget’s increase to 3 percent or lower. Craig Nelson of Warren, Thomas Weik of Morris and Robert P. Valentine issued the statement during a meeting at Morris Town Hall.
The reductions the school board approved were achieved by moving some paraprofessional staff, filling a vacant kindergarten teaching position with a teacher on staff, reducing after-school security at Wamogo Regional High School, reducing pension contributions and cutting the amount budgeted for family medical leave for employees. Cutting the hours of the business manager and the hours of monitors for the Wamogo cafeteria, reducing transportation, heating oil and internet costs, and eliminating staff travel to talented and gifted conferences are other reductions.