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Fairfield Superintendent Proposes Budget with $7.2 Million Increase

Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Title proposed a $156,171,651 budget Tuesday night, which represents a 4.86 percent increase over the current $148.9 million budget. The cost of health care is the driving factor behind the increase.

The Board of Education will grapple with the superintendent's recommended $156,171,651 budget in the coming weeks -- a figure that represents a $7.2 million or 4.86 percent increase over the current year's operating budget of $148.9 million.

"Every year, it's a challenge to create a budget for a highly regarding district and keep the increase as low as possible," Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Title said as he presented the budget to the board on Tuesday.

A sharp rise in the cost of health insurance is the major driver for the $7.2 million increase, Title said. Higher-than-expected claims made during the past 12 months along with the increased cost of services and federal mandates are to blame, he added.

To cover those expenses, the proposed budget adds $5.4 million to the health insurance account -- a bump that accounts for approximately three-quarters of the total increase over the current fiscal year's plan.

Pension costs for non-certified staff have also increased, according to Title. The proposed increase to that account is $571,167.

A rise in teachers' wages is also accounted for. That line item has been proposed to be bolstered by $810,756 to cover the 2.25 percent increase in salaries during 2013-2014 as set forth in the teachers contract.

In response to these large increases to fixed costs, Title said his strategy was "to control the rest of the budget, whatever we control" and keep all other expenses as close as possible to the current year's expenses.

According to Title, the total number of certified staff in the district will remain virtually unchanged. Forecast enrollment shifts will reduce staff in the elementary schools and add teachers to the high schools, but the net total will remain about the same.

The upcoming year is not the year Fairfield will see a return of the world language program or most of the other service cuts that were made in 2011.

However, Title added part-time coverage to the both high school's libraries and computer labs to the tune of $23,000 so that the labs will be staffed and the libraries can remain open for a few hours after school. He said that both Warde and Ludlowe's principals the cuts to those resources had been "detrimental."

The board will dig into the budget starting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22 in the Board of Education conference room (501 Kings Highway East) and will continue the discussion on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. The board is scheduled to adopt the budget on Tuesday,  Jan. 29 at its 7:30 p.m. meeting.  

The Representative Town Meeting is scheduled to vote on both the school and town operating budgets on Monday, May 6.

Frederick Klein January 23, 2013 at 10:28 PM
It's interesting that you say that I have to have the last word, Sandra, when you are trying to get in the last word. I cannot show you the respect you request considering what you did on the other thread. I will not forget that very soon. And if you want someone to stop calling you something, ask that person to do so. I am not RL.
Frederick Klein January 23, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Now I'm an alcoholic? I learn so much about myself the more I read the ad hominem attacks on the Patch.
Frederick Klein January 23, 2013 at 10:29 PM
So now when people disagree with us, they are apparently going to make comments about our mothers and wives. Patch contributors are a class act.
FfldParent January 28, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Chris Kral -- you have a recurring habit of posting moronic statements... "He must have been a high school loser who never played any sports..." "You were probably the last pick in dodgeball...." And I just read a stab at Syracuse U in another post. YOU were probably the kid stuffing other kids's heads in toilets in the boys room. You strike me as a bully and a class A jerk. Stick to the issues. Or were you hit in the head too many times when you were "the world's greatest high school football player ever." Sad when you peak in high school and mentally never develop beyond that point.
Chris Kral February 18, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Sorry FfldParent it took so long for me to respond. I was vacationing the past 3 weeks and didn't check your response. That's what happens when you peak too soon, I guess. Heard we had some snow here.

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