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Next Steps For The Greenwich School Budget

Proposals move on to First Selectman, BET and the CIP

 

Last month the the Greenwich Public Schools' Operating Budget for the 2013-14 school year was unanimously approved by the Greenwich Board of Education with a price tag of $142,099,644. The budget represents a 1.97% increase over the current year's operating spending plan. The Operating Budget was due to the Town of Greenwich Finance Department on Dec. 30.

At the time of the vote in December, Superintendent of Schools Dr. William McKersie's budget included a yet to be determined decrease of $712,000 at Central Office. The nature of those cuts, stated McKersie, will be revealed in January.

It is expected that McKersie's cuts to the Central Office will be announced this week. McKersie did not respond to requests from Greenwich Patch for comment.

The board voted 8-0 to approve their 2013-2014 Capital Plan at $10,075,000 at their Oct. 18 meeting at Eastern Middle School. The Capital Plan is $2 million higher than the $8 million target stated in the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) budget guidelines.

The plan was initially presented at the Sept. 20 meeting at Hamilton Avenue School. At the time of the board's vote on their Capital Plan, the BET had not yet approved their budget guidelines, which were adopted on Nov. 19.

Despite the differential, the $10 million funding request will next proceed through the First Selectman's Capital Improvements Project Committee (CIP) process and then, along with the operating budget, will be presented to the BET Budget Committee in February. Both represent McKersie's inaugural budgets.

The Board of Education develops a 15-year capital plan based on facilities standards and audits. During their deliberations over the proposed capital spending plan, the board members spoke of the "rigorous analysis" that is undertaken to determine the infrastructure needs of the 1.5 million square feet of the school system.

The district has spent on average approximately $10.34 million in capital over the past 8 years, which excludes the building of Hamilton Avenue and Glenville Schools.

McKersie called the maintenance of facilities "the defining handshake with how the schools work with the town."

Greenwich Public Schools has a section of its website dedicated to the budget development process. The Board of Education will present its Operating Budget to the BET Budget Committee on Feb. 4 in the Greenwich Town Hall Meeting Room.

The BET Budget Committee will then embark on a detailed all day review with the Board of Education on the 2013-14 Operating and Capital Budgets on Feb. 7. 

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