No comments at Norwich Board of Education budget public hearing

Norwich – The Board of Education held a public hearing on its proposed $74.4 million 2014-15 school budget Tuesday night, but no one came.

Three principals sat in the audience when the board called the hearing to order and Chairwoman Yvette Jacaruso asked for comments. She was met by silence.

“I suggest we adjourn,” board member Dennis Slopak said.

But instead, members spent several minutes discussing the need for parents and supporters to speak at hearings, if not before the school board, then later when the City Council holds public hearings on the budget total recommended by City Manager Alan Bergren. Bergren will present his budget to the council April 7. The first public hearing on that budget is April 14.

Last week, the school board’s budget expenditure committee added several positions to the budget as requested by other board members to expand full-day kindergarten, restore middle school instrumental music and add world languages to the middle school.

The total budget now is $74.4 million, a $3.8 million, or 5.48 percent, increase over this year’s budget.

“I’m very sad and disappointed that no parents are here,” board member Cora Lee Boulware said of the nearly empty room. “We need the support of parents. We need the support of the community.”


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