New Canaan Backs School Spending Plan For Next Year

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Town Council members Steve Karl and Penny Young and the rest of the council heard several residents support the Board of Education's budget during a public hearing at the New Canaan Nature Center Wednesday.
Town Council members Steve Karl and Penny Young and the rest of the council heard several residents support the Board of Education's budget during a public hearing at the New Canaan Nature Center Wednesday. Photo Credit: Anthony Buzzeo

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — The New Canaan community urged the Town Council not to cut the school district’s spending plan any further during a public hearing Wednesday night. 

Jennifer Richardson, a parent of four, said that when she moved to New Canaan in the seventh grade, her parents told her it was because of the schools. Parents still feel that way, she said. Parents work to help the schools maintain that reputation and hope the town will do the same, she said.

“The [Parent Teacher Committees] constantly struggle to meet the shortfalls,” Richardson said.

Courtney Langford said she is worried that the proposed cuts would hurt each student’s experience because they only go through each grade once.

“That’s the bottom line for me, those onetime opportunities,” she said. That feeling led her to get involved in the process. 

“Please do not shackle us with any additional cuts,” said Hazel Hobbs, a member of the town’s Board of Education. It is the largest proposed cut she can remember in her 45 years of living in New Canaan, Hobbs said.

The concern arose after the Board of Finance proposed a $2 million cut in the school board’s proposed $78.79 million spending plan for the 2013-14 fiscal year. The proposed spending plan would be $2.8 million more than the current year’s budget.

The town’s Board of Finance approved the spending plan at $132.07 million for the fiscal year set to begin in July. The plan would be about $6.5 million more than the current budget.

The Town Council can only reduce the proposed plan from the Board of Finance and is unable to add to it. The council is scheduled to approve the spending plan next week.

View all of the budget presentations and information here.

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