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New Canaan Schools Asking For 4% Bump In Budget

New Canaan Schools Superintendent Mary Kolek presents the proposed 2013-14 budget during Monday's Board of Education meeting.
New Canaan Schools Superintendent Mary Kolek presents the proposed 2013-14 budget during Monday's Board of Education meeting. Photo Credit: Melvin Mason

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Spending in the New Canaan Public Schools would rise more than 4 percent in the next school year under the proposed budget presented by Superintendent Mary Kolek.

The New Canaan Board of Education unveiled and discussed a proposed $77.73 million proposed spending plan for the 2013-14 school year. The operating budget is about $3.2 million more than the current $74.5 million plan approved by the New Canaan Town Council last April, an increase of 4.3 percent.

The bulk of the budget — $52.7 million — would go toward salaries, an increase of 3.4 percent from the current year’s allocation. The district would spend $11.31 million on employee benefits, about $86,000 more than in the 2012-13 school year.

Proposed staffing changes would include adding a full-time custodian, technician and accounting clerk as well as a part-time public information specialist, Kolek said. “We are asking for some additions in departments that we have not asked for additional staffing,” she said. The district has held the line in those areas before, but it’s time to bring on new staff, she said.

The district would also spend about $7,000 in two stipends to pay for a women’s ice hockey coach at New Canaan High School. A math teacher would be added for Saxe Middle School, but three elementary school teachers would be eliminated.

A plan to add deans to all five schools was deferred, along with math and library resource specialists at Saxe Middle School. Those positions would have cost about $188,000.

Monday’s presentation was a first read of the proposed budget. A second read will take place at the school board’s Jan. 22 meeting. The plan will then be forwarded to the New Canaan Board of Finance.