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New Canaan Council Members Eye School Spending

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Would you like to know how much the New Canaan Public Schools pays for the children's desks?

New Canaan Town Council members Roger Williams and John Emert do - and they have made a formal Freedom of Information request to get a more thorough breakdown of the school system’s $74.5 million budget for the 2012-13 school year.

In a May 10 letter, Williams and Emert say that not having that information “makes it extremely difficult to properly judge the use” of the money allocated to the district. The Board of Education budget is part of the town’s $125.5 million spending plan for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The councilors said they requested the information several times.

Neighboring towns, including Darien, Wilton and Westport, have detailed schools budgets on their town websites, Williams and Emert say. “They have published hundreds of pages showing where and how their education budget is being used. Why shouldn’t New Canaan taxpayers be afforded this same access to public information?” the letter says.

The administration has given the men the most detailed line-by-line budget twice previously and other information "above and beyond what was asked for," including details on salaries, Superintendent David Abbey said Wednesday.

The district received Williams and Emert’s letter on Tuesday, Abbey said, and “we will respond to that in a manner and time frame consistent with the Freedom of Information Act.”

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