Despite the fact that the new AUC budgeting system purchased for the Board of Education by the city has been problematic, Superintendent Pat Charles presented her first take on the 2016-2017 budget to the Board of Education at a special meeting Tuesday.
"The who AUC thing has thrown a monkey wrench into the works," Charles said early Tuesday. She explained that technicians from the software company had to be called repeatedly to make fixes on the new system so that the budget could be entered correctly. As a result, Charles did not have the ability to make a general presentation as she has in the past years.
"In the end, I don't think the board members need or wanted it," Charles said Wednesday morning after the meeting. "They want detail, and they want time to digest the detail, so we've scheduled two Board meetings in January at which we can discuss the budget."
Initial Request at 9%
At first blush, the budget has come in at a 9% increase over last years budget. Last year, the Common Council voted to grant the BOE, $78,123, 600 for this year's budget. The Superintendent's intial request this year is for $85,157, 232.
"Is it a realistic budget, yes?" Charles said. "Is it everything we need, no. It's the same old story."
Charles did indicate that the budget numbers were expected to be adjusted during the day on Wednesday based on what were considered inflated transportation numbers. The new budget numbers are expected to be posted by day's end Wednesday.
Most of the budget inflation is attributed to costs in special education because of IDEA (Disabilities Education Improvement Act) grants cut by the state of Connecticut. Those cuts call for the hiring of a new manager, 17 new paraprofessionals and several other new staff member.
"The board members seem so understand the need for everything in the budget, and we will be deliberating it over the next few months," Charles said.