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Proposed Stonington school budget up 2.38%

Stonington — Superintendent of Schools Van Riley presented the Board of Education on Thursday night with a proposed 2022-23 school budget that shows a 2.38%, or $912,675, increase.

The current budget contained a 2.5% increase but Riley pointed out that over the past four years budget increases have averaged at 0.95%.

On Thursday night, school Director of Finance Gary Shettle went through the $39.2 million budget line by line, explaining increases and decreases. 

The account for teachers' salaries is projected to decrease by $428,000 to $14.4 million in part due to a decrease in five teaching positions — two each at the high school and middle school and one at West Vine Street School — caused by declining enrollment. Riley said the cuts would not affect the programs that are offered.

The paraprofessional account increased $192,000 to $2 million to boost pay for these employees so they earn what similar employees do in other districts. Like many districts, Stonington has struggled with paraprofessional shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employee health insurance would increase by $189,226 to $4.5 million. Out-of-district tuition costs would decrease by $342,937 to $2.9 million and utilities would decrease by $72,008 to $872,154. Heat, though, would increase by $164,937 to $651,991.

The board will review the budget over the coming weeks before approving a plan to send to the Board of Finance.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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