We are so happy to have our kindergarten-through sixth-grade students back in our school buildings for five days a week for the fourth quarter. We are excited to have our seventh-and eighth-graders return in May for a four day per week model, as well. Our proposed school budget for the upcoming 2021-22 school year is based upon the provision of a full, K-12 reopening in September.
The recent state and federal aid for our school district have addressed our current financial needs and have closed our budget gap. We will continue to be vigilant with our fiduciary responsibilities and monitor revenue sources throughout the year.
As we develop our budget, we assess student enrollment and related staffing needs. Further, we review the condition of our school buses and facility. While in the past we have proposed a replacement of ten school buses, this year we are only proposing six. This is based upon reduced school bus utilization since last March.
Last December, we proposed the addition of a lottery-based Pre- Kindergarten program. Due to the financial constraints last year, we removed the program proposal. This year, given the state’s recent funding allocation, we are adding the program back into the budget.
This year there has been an additional allocation of funding to address learning loss and COVID-related needs in our district. These are multiple year grants that cannot be used to supplant items in our budget or reduce the budget. We are working to develop an expenditure plan based upon the requirements of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) and Coronavirus Relief and Recovery Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA). This information will be shared with the community in June and July.
The proposed budget of $91,602,093, adopted by the Board of Education on April 13, 2021, reflects an increase of 3.54% over last year’s budget and would mean a 2.00% increase in the tax levy which is below the district’s levy cap of 2.66%. This budget would result in an estimated tax rate decrease of 6.19% for the town of Chili, an increase of 0.96% for the town of Riga, an increase of 2.95% for the town of Ogden, and a decrease of 2.25% for the town of Sweden, due to varied equalization rates.
The second proposition on the ballot will be the purchase of six buses at a cost not to exceed $800,000. Additional information about our district’s proposed budget for the 2021-22 school year as well as information about our Board of Education candidates, may be found on the following pages. Detailed budget information included in this newsletter is also posted on the district website at www.cccsd.org. We hope you will take the opportunity to vote on Tuesday, May 18.
Dr. Lori Orologio
Superintendent of Schools