Plymouth Superintendent of Schools gives initial budget presentation

Published on Thursday, 27 January 2022 14:19
Written by BRIAN M. JOHNSON

@brianjohnsonBP

PLYMOUTH – Plymouth Superintendent of Schools Brian Falcone has given his initial budget presentation, requesting a 2.35% increase to the school budget over last year.

The presentation was made at the Jan. 26 Board of Education Meeting.

The fiscal year 2021-2022 Board of Education budget was $24,552,027. Falcone has proposed a budget for this year of $25,420,623 – an increase of $576,973 or 2.35%.

“The budget takes into consideration our new board goals, the positions needed, and the administrative team looking at things differently with the goal of improving our school district,” said Falcone. “When you consider our contractual obligations and the expenses going up for things like textbooks and utilities, it is a very lean budget.”

Falcone broke down the factors driving the budget increase, which include 59% as salaries, 19% as benefits, 8% as transportation, 7% as tuition and outplacements due to 186 students selecting to learn outside of Plymouth. Utilities account for 3% of the budget, instructional supplies and textbooks make up 2% of the budget, facilities make up another 2% of the budget and all other expenses account for 1%.

Falcone added that he will be utilizing a “sinking fund” created by the town to strategically offset Board of Education budget costs. The fund currently has $650,000 available.

Falcone also shared a history of the town’s education budget going back to 2011, with the average increase between 2011 and 2021 being 0.732%. Over the past four years, the increases have ranged between 1% and 2.5%.

The budget accounts for the elimination of 12 non-certified positions including 4 recess monitors, 5 part-time paraprofessionals, a school to career secretary, a school to career position and a hall monitor at Eli Terry Middle School. Also eliminated would be six certified positions, including a grade 2 teacher, a grade 3 teacher, a math coach at Eli Terry Jr. Middle School, a math coach at Plymouth Center School, a music teacher and the Dean of Students position at Fisher Elementary School.

The budget would include the hiring of a library media specialist at Plymouth Center School, a Library Media Specialist and STEM teacher at Fisher Elementary School, a full-time secretary and a STEM teacher at Eli Terry Middle School and a certified career counselor at Terryville High School. It also accounts for the hiring of a chemical hygiene specialist for the district.

Projects funded by the proposed budget include new cafeteria tables, painting the cafeteria and sidewalk repairs at Plymouth Center School. Fisher school would see new cafeteria tables, a new walk-in refrigerator, painting of common areas and sidewalk repairs as well as the removal of old lockers and an old stair lift. Eli Terry Middle School would see common areas painted and sidewalk repairs.

District-wide projects funded by the budget would include a new website platform, secure printing at all schools and self-sustaining Chromebook insurance.

Falcone said that the Board of Education will review and workshop the budget at their Feb. 2 and Feb. 10 meetings. The Board of Education approved budget will then be presented to the Board of Finance at March 17, followed by the Town Council at an undetermined later date.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or bjohnson@bristolpress.com.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Plymouth, Terryville on Thursday, 27 January 2022 14:19. Updated: Thursday, 27 January 2022 14:21.