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Editor's note: This version corrects the comparison of what was asked for this year versus last year's request.
Old Lyme - Schools within the Lyme-Old Lyme district presented their proposed operating budgets for the 2013-14 year to the Board of Education this week. Overall, the schools are seeking about $5,000 less than what they asked for last year.
Operating budgets cover programs and materials. The school board will discuss staffing and debt service costs, comprising the majority of the budget, at next week's board meeting.
Principals said they would maintain current instruction levels, and, in some cases, add new programs and materials. Some schools also anticipate savings over last year in certain areas, such as textbooks.
The proposed 2013-14 operating budget for the Lyme-Old Lyme High School is $633,216; the middle school, $185,430; and the elementary schools, $262,140. In comparison, the current year's operations were budgeted at $598,841 for the high school; $194,530 for the middle school and $292,290 for the elementary schools.
As one of its requests, the high school is seeking $33,000 to fund a new marine-themed power and energy course, with alternative-energy components, that would replace the current automotive engineering course. The high school, currently under renovation, will no longer have access for cars, and the administration and staff wanted to reflect students' interests and take advantage of the community's proximity to the shoreline, Principal James Wygonik said.
The middle school proposed purchasing about 10 computer tablets and some new furniture, both as part of a normal replacement cycle and to build a collaborative classroom style, according to Principal Christopher Pomroy. The cost of officiating student activities is going up, he said. The middle school expects savings when it comes to printing and postage costs, as well as textbooks, since the district purchased a new two-year math program last year, he said.
For the elementary schools - Mile Creek, Lyme Consolidated and Center - the principals focused on shifting resources to reflect changes in population numbers. Students in some areas who previously attended third grade at Center School will move to Mile Creek School next year because of redistricting. The principals also said the elementary schools would need more funds next year to implement the state-required Common Core Standards for third through fifth grades.
The board will meet again at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday for a workshop on the budget for special education, facilities, technology, operations and central services.
For more more information on the budget timeline, please visit: