GREENWICH, Conn. – The Greenwich Board of Education voted unanimously to pass the 2013-14 spending plan Thursday evening, increasing the operating budget by $2.74 million, or 1.97 percent, but making nearly $1 million in cuts at the administrative level.
“The budget does not impact the daily excellence of our students in the classroom,” Board member Jennifer Dayton said. “This is a responsible and lean budget that will let us move forward together with confidence in the future.”
Superintendent William McKersie had presented a spending plan that included an increase of $3.79 million, or 2.7 percent, on Nov. 8. The school board whittled that initial plan down over several meetings to a 1.97 percent increase by Thursday’s vote. The total operating budget is estimated to be just more than $142 million.
Board of Education Chairman Leslie Moriarty described the cuts from McKersie’s original proposal as being “a reorganization” in the Central Office, revisions in two professional development program and elimination of excess math curriculum supplies.
“The budget still enables us to achieve our goals and promote excellence,” school board member Nancy Kail said. “I’m going to support the 2 percent increase, and I implore the first selectman and the Finance Board to do the same when it reaches them.”
Board member Adriana Ospina pointed out to the crowd of about 50 in the Greenwich High Media Center that the budget does not reveal “the sacrifices that will have to be made” at the administrative level. Ospina and several other board members said they would not support any further cuts.
The Board of Education also voted to make February break a four-day weekend instead of a weeklong vacation in 2015. February break will remain unchanged in 2013 and 2014.