Milford schools

Milford Schools Head seeks to increase budget by 2.25%

MILFORD, CT – Superintendent of Schools Anna Cutaia is proposing a budget of $ 99.73 million for fiscal year 2021-22, which will increase spending by 2.25%. The new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2021 and ends on June 30, 2022.

Cutaia’s budget proposal has yet to be approved by the education, finance and municipal councils. A finalized budget will probably not be officially adopted until May or June.


Here is the full letter from School Superintendent Anna M. Cutaia to the Board of Education and the Milford community:

Dear members of the Board of Education:

Developing the proposed budget for Milford Public Schools 2021-2022 has been a challenge and a difficulty. This budget is built with determining factors in the context of a global pandemic crisis.

While we are wholeheartedly committed to achieving the Learner’s Vision (VoL) through High Quality Education (HQI) with an emphasis on relationships with and between students and staff, these efforts have been redesigned to meet the need to focus on economic and educational recovery.

The proposed budget for 2021-2022 of $ 99,734,375 reflects a 2.255% increase over the budget adopted last year. This budget represents hopes and dreams for our students and staff that were not realized in the 2020-2021 school year due to the need to put things on hold due to our district’s response to the pandemic crisis.

Many program improvements and new initiatives have been postponed due to the unforeseen costs of opening schools under strict health and safety guidelines due to COVID-19. This proposal continues to move our school district forward with essential program improvements while taking into account the economic conditions our community faces.

Before considering program improvements and savings, I would like to draw your attention to four factors related to this proposed budget:

1. The education sector invests heavily in human capital. 76.87% of the total budget is made up of salaries and benefits. There is a net increase of 1.29 FTE positions and the overall salary accounts have increased due to contractual obligations and the inclusion of new positions. Our team performs a comprehensive review of FTEs at every level with every budget cycle. Redistribution and / or reallocation
FTEs are performed to the extent possible in response to enrollment and program needs.

2. One of the main drivers of this proposed budget is the increases in certain budget lines for special education. Specifically, the tuition fees for Special Education – Public increased by $ 225,562 or 33.928%; Tuition fees for special education – non-public increased by $ 1,758,313 or 47.808%; and Special Education – Transportation increased by $ 93,361 or 3.867%.

The total increase in these special education accounts is $ 2,077,236. This increase adds up to 2.13% of the total district budget increase of 2.255%. This is mainly due to a sharp increase in the number of students requiring out-of-district placement during the 2019-2020 school year, which impacts the current 2020-2021 budget and continues throughout. of the year 2021-2022. More information will be provided in my budget presentation to the Board of Education and in workshops as needed.

3. Although not represented in a single item in the proposed budget, efforts to improve the program focus primarily on resuming education due to the pandemic crisis and race, equity and social justice. Plans for the 2021-2022 school year in the area of ​​teaching and learning and social / emotional well-being have cohesive themes that focus on accelerating the program and seeking a more anti-racist and socially just learning environment.


New – System improvements
● The teaching of world languages ​​will be extended to grade 3, making our elementary curriculum now from kindergarten to grade 3.
● Academy van to provide community learning opportunities to our students.


Report – System Improvements
● Science will be at the heart of the 2021-2022 school year (initially planned for the 2020-2021 school year). With a newly revised curriculum, we will be implementing these curriculum improvements in elementary science labs, as well as curriculum and furniture updates in high schools.


Hold – System Improvements
● The expansion of high quality education (HQI) is essential for the continuous improvement of teaching and learning. While HQI remains the primary education improvement effort in our district, it will need to be redesigned and prioritized for the 2021-2022 school year.
● With the completion of the curriculum review of our preschool and kindergarten classes with an emphasis on intentional play and executive functioning, we are in the process of developing a multi-year implementation plan in response to what Classrooms will look like in a post-pandemic learning environment. Therefore, play-based learning centers and flexible furniture plans will be
redesigned.
● We will keep the following technological improvements:
Elementary:
■ Green screens for video production
Environment :
■ Video production equipment at East Shore and Harborside High Schools
Raised :
■ Cameras and camcorders for journalism, art and business courses
District :
■ Interactive display panels for some Art and Music rooms
● With a recently updated curriculum review schedule, critical systemic work will be postponed / extended in the following areas:
○ 3-5 Literacy and Social Studies
○ 6-12 English / Language Arts
World Language PK
PK-5 School Board
6-8 Health
PK-8 Physical Education
○ 6-8 Career technical education
Music PK-8
Art PK-8
● Class K-2 libraries are required to align with the new curriculum for all elementary schools, but will be suspended.
● The Music Department will put on hold the expansion and replacement of musical instruments, orchestra uniforms and seating.
● The opening of school libraries during the summer at three elementary schools will wait until 2022 – Meadowside, JFK and Pumpkin Delight.
● To better support our families, the district hopes to add a Community Connection Center (CCC) in the future.
● The renovation of the Foran school library will have to be carried out but will be suspended and will probably require two phases of work. As with Jonathan Law’s library, we plan to make it a 21st century learning space to better meet the learning needs of students. Finally, in the future, we will renovate the learning center into an accessible space and allowing students to be more collaborative in
receive additional help and support each other.
● In the field of fitness, many projects still need to be supported. The fitness rooms at Foran High School and East Shore Middle School need to be completely renovated. East Shore Middle School cardiovascular equipment needs to be replaced.


Savings
In order to compensate for large unanticipated increases, savings have been made in many accounts. Please see the Executive Summary on pages VI – X of this Budget Book for a list of savings by account. More information will be shared during my presentation to the Board of Education and in subsequent workshops. Below is a summary of savings by object code:

2000 Benefits $ (644,799)
3000 Contractual Services $ (165,784)
4000 $ Installations (329,109)
6000 Educational Supplies ($ 172,925)
7000 Educational supplies and equipment $ (1,198)
8000 Other educational support $ (8,276)

The pandemic crisis may have slowed our progress in some areas, but it certainly hasn’t diminished the BIG dreams we have for the Milford school community. I appreciate the support and partnership we have forged with our municipal leaders. I look forward to continuing our partnership for the benefit of the youth of Milford. Preparing a budget that takes into account many factors is a difficult task and I would like to thank our management team and members of the sales department for their role in its development.

Truly,
Anna M. Cutaia, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

>>> If you would like to read the full proposed 40-page budget, click here.


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