Stonington school board sets Tuesday strategy session for bigger budget

Stonington - The school board will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the School Administration Building to discuss its strategy for presenting the proposed 2014-15 budget and its 2.97 percent increase to the Board of Finance on March 3.

Last Thursday, the school board adopted the $34.7 million budget which is $997,374 more than the current budget. The proposal was less than the $1.3 million increase initially presented by Superintendent of Schools Van Riley.

One major change is that the board reduced the $270,000 originally included for additional administrative salaries to oversee the new state-mandated teacher evaluation to $120,000 as board Chairman Frank Todisco said there are still questions about the requirements of the system. He said board members were also uncomfortable with eliminating teaching positions to pay for an unfunded state mandate. The board also restored two of the nine full-time teaching positions set to be cut in the budget. The remainder will be reduced through attrition.

The board has also approved the 2014-15 school calendar, retaining the arrangement of having two days off over Presidents Day weekend instead of a weeklong February vacation.

- Joe Wojtas

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