• 2018-2019 Board of Education Budget Quick Notes 


    April 5, 2018

    Town Council / Town Hall

    The Town Council voted on and approved the Board of Education's 2018-2019 Operating Budget as follows:

    2018-2019 BOE Operating Budget: $89,763,487

    This includes a $900,000 reduction from the BOE’s original 2018-2019 proposed budget ($90,663,487) and reflects a 2.45% year-over-year increase (BOE FY 2018 Budget: $87,618,405).

     


    April 3, 2018

    Town Council / Town Hall

    The Town Council held a Public Hearing in which members of the public commented on the Town’s proposed budget. Nearly a dozen who addressed the Council spoke in favor of upholding the BOE proposed operating budget without any further cuts. Those who spoke in support of the BOE included NCPS students, parents and PTC co-presidents. Their comments spoke to the district’s indispensable role in the community and to the responsibility vested in the town bodies to provide financial support.

    Capital Budget update: The BOE updated its Capital Budget request to reflect a $400,000 net capital reduction based on an increase of $40,000 to replace/remediate the oils tank at South, and a decrease of $300,000 originally budgeted to renovate West Parking Lot and an additional decrease of $140,000 originally budgeted to replace/remediate the oil tank at West.

    Upcoming Town Council meetings: Budget Final Vote, Thursday, 4/05/18 - 7 p.m., Town Hall, Meeting Room.

     


     

    March 27, 2018

    Town Council / Town Hall

    Superintendent Luizzi, administrators and staff met with the Town Council discussing capital budget requests along with a handful of operating budget items. In addition to the full Town Council meetings, NCPS continues to meet and communicate with members of the Council to answer their questions and help them better understand various items in the Board’s budget.

    Upcoming Town Council meetings include: Budget Follow-up and Review Tuesday, 4/03/18 - 7 p.m., Town Hall, Meeting Room, Budget Public Hearing and Overall Review. The Town Council votes on the final budget on 4/05/18. 


     March 20, 2018

    Town Council / Town Hall

    The Superintendent was presented with a series of questions from the Town Council on March 13 and an additional number this afternoon regarding the BOE’s proposed 2018-2019 budget. Dr. Luizzi and Jo-Anne Keating, along with Manager of Facilities Operations Dan Clarke and Assistant Superintendent of Pupil and Family Services Darlene Pianka, addressed these more-than-one hundred questions in summation, while a handout with full answers was also distributed to Council members. Specific Q/A items addressed at the meeting included:

    • Alternative High School Program
    • School Ratings
    • Working with the Town
    • Staffing Dynamics
    • West Pre-School
    • Natural gas savings
    • Oil Tank removal
    • Per-pupil expenditures
    • Busing/Transportation
    • Special Education costs

    The Town Council will continue to review the BOE proposed budget that now includes a $900,000 decrease imposed by the Board of Finance. Upcoming Town Council meetings include: Tuesday, 3/27/18 - 7 p.m., Town Hall, Meeting Room, Budget Follow-up and Review Tuesday, 4/03/18 - 7 p.m., Town Hall, Meeting Room, Budget Public Hearing and Overall Review. 


    March 8, 2018

    Board of Finance / Town Hall

    The Board of Finance voted to reduce the Board’s operating budget request by $900,000. While there was considerable conversation about taking the additional $400K from insurance, ultimately a reduction of this magnitude will impact programs and staffing.


     March 6, 2018

    Board of Finance / Public Hearing / Town Hall

    At its Budget Public Hearing, the Board of Finance heard statements from the public regarding the BOE’s 2018-2019 proposed budget. A majority of those who spoke were in strong support of the BOE and its budget. These included:

    • A freshman at NCHS who recognized the BOE’s budget increase was more than the BOF’s request but stated that she thought “the investment is necessary.”
    • A mother of four youngsters, three in the NCPS system, who had just moved with her family to New Canaan from Dubai. “Far and away the most important driver in our decision to move to New Canaan as opposed to other towns in Fairfield and Westchester counties were the schools,” she said.
    • Several BOE members who spoke in favor of the budget, including Board Chair Dionna Carlson, Vice-Chair Penny Rashin, Secretary Jennifer Richardson, Brendan Hayes, and Hazel Hobbs.

    Following public comments, Dr. Luizzi summarized a number of potential operating reductions that would eliminate approximately $500,000 from the proposed budget. These include:

    • Reduction in Workman’s Comp premiums, which will reduce the budget by $106,000.
    • Deferment of certain maintenance projects.
    • Reviewing other small budget areas such as equipment, the Extended School Year, instructional materials/supplies and teacher conferences.

    There was also discussion about the possibility of pulling insurance costs out of the operating budget to be treated as a special budget item.

    The BOF will vote on the budget at its next scheduled meeting on Thursday, March 8, after which it will be reviewed by the Town Council.

      


    March 5, 2018

    Presentations to the BOE - March 5, 2018

    2018-2019 Budget Observations - Brendan Hayes, BOE Representative

    2018-2019 Potential Budget Reductions - Dr. Bryan Luizzi


    March 1, 2018

    Proposed Budget Information Sheet - updated 3/1/2018

      • Each year, the Board of Education puts forward a carefully crafted budget designed to sustain the excellence of the New Canaan Public Schools while resourcing high-leverage opportunities for continuous improvement and growth on behalf of our students.

      • As careful stewards, the Board of Education identifies efficiencies and opportunities for savings in every budget prior to its adoption each year. 

      • To reach a 2% budget for 2018-2019, the Board of Education would have to cut $1.3 million from this year’s budget request. This would require significant reductions to programming, including materials and staffing.

      • Over the past 10 years, increases in staffing have occurred for three primary reasons:
        •  1) Enrollment
        •  2) In-sourcing positions, especially in the Special Education program, to save money, as quality control, and to develop long-term relationships between the service providers and the students and families they serve (i.e. SPED transportation drivers and aides = 9 positions)
        •  3) New programming. In recent years, some programming added by the Board to be responsive to the needs of today’s learners include: a. Security (9 positions) b. STEM course offerings c. Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools (FLES) d. AP course offerings e. Mandarin f. Senior internship coordinator

      • Contractually obligated insurance increases ($760,383) are approximately a 1% overall increase in the budget due to a recent increase in claims. Last year, the Board of Education’s positive claims experience contributed to the district’s low increase (1.6%) overall.

      • Contractually obligated salary increases ($2,061,465) account for approximately 2.35% of the total 3.48% year to year increase.

      • In the past 10 years, New Canaan has had the lowest overall growth in expenditures per student in our Demographic Reference Group (DRG) while at the same time maintaining or improving our relative performance. (See attached chart)
     

    February 27, 2018

     

    Board of Finance / Meeting

    The Board of Finance submitted a series of questions to NCPS Administration regarding the BOE’s 2018-2019 Proposed Budget all of which were addressed at tonight’s meeting by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi, Director of Finance and Operations Dr. Joanne Keating, Assistant Superintendent of Pupil and Family Services Darlene Pianka, BOE chair Dionna Carlson, and insurance representative Joe Spurgeon.

    Click here for BOF/BOE Administration Question/Answers document.

    Discussion topics in the three-hour meeting ranged from enrollment comparisons of the past decade, staffing, special education costs and insurance. In its 16 Question inquiry, the BOF requested detailed certified staffing and non-staffing totals and trends within the past 10 years, secretarial staffing information, administrators’ salaries and roles, job descriptions for assistant principals at the elementary, middle and high schools, and a job description and salary for the communications director. A lengthy discussion on special education and outsourced services costs, insurance, and health benefits also took place.

    The Board of Finance asked the BOE to closely revisit its 2018-2019 proposed budget to scrutinize whatever cuts can be made with the goal of approaching the suggested 2% total increase, although one Board of Finance member noted that such a drastic cut wasn’t realistic. Rather, a suggested reduction of approximately $400k from the BOE’s total operating budget would drop the increase under the 3% mark, to a more acceptable 2.96%, according to this BOF member.

    At the conclusion of the meeting, the administration team was asked to determine the degree to which the budget request could be reduced.

    The next Board of Finance meeting is a Budget Public Hearing and Review and takes place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, at the Town Hall meeting room. The Board of Finance votes on the 2018-2019 budget on March 8, after which it will proceed to the Town Council for review and final passage.

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    February 6, 2018


    Board of Finance/Town Council / Budget Meeting / Town Hall

    The Board of Education’s 2017-2018 proposed operating and capital budget was presented before the Board of Finance and the Town Council at a joint Town Hall meeting.

    In the over-two-hour presentation, Superintendent Dr. Bryan Luizzi delivered a comprehensive explanation of the proposed budget. He was joined by insurance consultant Joe Spurgeon, who discussed the NCPS Health Plan, and by Dr. Jo-Ann Keating, Director of Finance and Operations, who explained the format of the BOE Budget Book. Dr. Luizzi’s presentation, which includes the Health Plan, is posted online on the district site. The BOE Proposed 2017-2018 Budget is also posted online.
     
    In opening remarks, BOE Chair Dionna Carlson explained that the BOE budget is built from the ground up every year, not pegged to a number but built to meet specific needs and achieve district goals, noting that New Canaan Public Schools is a top-performing, world class district both within the state and nationally. “This success is the result of a painstaking effort on the part of administration, faculty and staff, in cooperation with our parents, the support of the BOE, and the financial backing of the taxpayers of this community,” she said, “and is the culmination of years of effort on the part of the administration and staff to understand best practices and execute optimally and efficiently for the benefit of our students and this community.”
     
    BOF members will be submitting questions to the BOE for review prior to the next BOE budget discussion with the BOE, which takes place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at Town Hall. In closing the meeting, BOF Chair Todd Lavieri said, “We appreciate everything you do every day, building a fantastic faculty, great administration, obviously a very generous and supportive group of taxpayers who have forever now supported this wonderful asset that we have in this town, and we’re all proud of that.”

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    January 22, 2018
    BOE Meeting, NCHS

     

    • The Board of Education approved the Superintendent's Proposed 2018-2019 Budget.
    • Superintendent’s Proposed 2018-2019 Budget request: $90,663,487. (3.48% increase year-to-year).
    • The budget will now proceed to the town funding bodies for review/approval.