Part I: School Budget Down; Taxes Going Way UP

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The Norwich School Board held, on January 11, the first of three meetings to discuss the proposed budget for 2018-2019. The good news for taxpayers is that the overall budget for next year is lower than last. The bad news is that taxes are going up  - a lot - by more than any School Board member can recall. This post is on the budget. The tax impact post is here

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The budget for Marion Cross School will increase by 1.85% to $5,676,234. The budget cuts 2 regular education teachers. Total personnel, however, will increase, even though enrollment is projected to decline by 8 students.

Source: Budget Presentation January 11, 2018

There is also an increase of nearly 20% in building improvements but the impact on the MCS budget is small, as teacher and staff compensation is about 80% of the budget.  

Source: Budget Presentation January 11, 2018

Parents and teachers who spoke at the meeting were against these teacher cuts. Apparently, this will push class size in first and fifth grades beyond the School Board guidelines. One problem faced by the School Board is making difficult tradeoffs, such as keeping the popular LEEEP program despite the loss of federal funding. The Board’s budget committee will consider alternatives to the teacher cuts and present them at the January 18 meeting.  

The Dresden assessment (the Norwich share of the Dresden School District budget) is going down, even though the Dresden budget is increasing. That is because fewer students from Norwich will attend Richmond Middle School and Hanover High School next year. As a result the Dresden assessment is expected to decline by 2% to $6,705,670. 

Taking into account revenues, the total overall school budget proposed is $10,937,093, a modest decline of 0.24%.
LINK: Information about the Norwich and Dresden School District budgets is available at the SAU 70 website at: .


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