SOUTHINGTON — School Superintendent Steve Madancy proposed a budget for the upcoming year that will increase education spending by just over 4 % without adding new staff.
Madancy’s budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year may be adjusted by the Board of Education, which votes on a spending plan that goes to the Town Council for final approval.
Madancy said a budget he feels includes everything the district needs and is responsible to the taxpayers would total $104.7 million.
While the budget doesn’t include any new teachers or other staff, it does include a host of positions funded by $1.5 million in federal pandemic relief funds.
“This is the first budget I’ve ever been a part of as a principal or a central office staff where we came to the board with no (new) staff at all,” Madancy said.
The school district got about $4.5 million in federal funds. Some of that money is earmarked for helping students catch up after COVID disruptions, although much of it can be used for salaries.
The Board of Education and the Town Council clashed last year over the use of federal funds. The Town Council ultimately prevailed and the money was used to offset the operating budget and helped keep down spending increases. Education officials argued it was intended to expand programs that helped students deal with the consequences of the pandemic.
While the Board of Education votes on a budget recommendation, the Town Council votes on an overall town budget that includes school funding. While the council can’t determine how education money is spent, it does control how much money the town allocates to education.