Budget Message from Dr. Menzo

Please read the message as a result of the Town Council Budget Approval 5/10/16.

Good Afternoon,

Last evening the Town Council approved the budget for fiscal year 2016-2017. In order to bridge the gap between the initial Board of Education request and the funding that was approved, reductions need to be made.  

The initial request of the Board of Education was $100,828,229.  The Town Council approved a budget of $98,739,026.  The difference in the funding request and the funding allocation is $2,089,203.

Cutting all Focus Area requests and Strategic Plan requests equaled an initial reduction of $1,684,590 leaving $404,613 in additionally required reductions.  To help us establish priorities as we work to balance the budget, the following  principles were developed by the Board of Education.

Board of Education Guiding Principles
  • Maintain class size.
  • Keep the focus on children.
  • Try to make the reductions as far from students as possible.
  • If we need to reduce or eliminate a program, it should be a program that impacts a small number of students.
  • Keep a focus on our district mission and vision.
  • Take a fresh look at everything we do.
  • Develop a sustained budget for 2016-17 reflecting a 1.8% increase.
  • Develop a sustained budget for 2017-18 reflecting a 1.2% increase.
  • Develop a sustained budget for 2018-19 reflecting a 1.2% increase.
  • Do not stop moving forward with initiatives.
  • Continue the spirit of innovation and creativity in the district.

Based on these guiding principles, the following additional reductions were recommended to the Board of Education for consideration. 

·      Do not fill Superintendent Secretary position
·      Do not fill High School Special Education Department Head and Reallocate Responsibilities to Remaining Department Heads and Coordinators
·      Do not fill .5 FTE Carpenter
·      Eliminate Mathematics Curriculum Resource Teacher
·      Do not fill Adult Education Guidance Staff (Reallocate to Guidance Coordinator)
·      Reduce Adult Education Weeks of Instruction to Meet State Guidelines (34 weeks to 30 weeks)
·      Bid Part-time Custodial Services
·      Eliminate One Lyman Hall Part-Time Clerk
·      Reassign Summer School Director to 12 month Curriculum Coordinator
·      Eliminate Intervention Facilitator Stipends
·      Reduce Summer IT Stipends
·      Eliminate Community Liaison
·      Reduce High School Late Bus - 3 days to 2 days a week
·      Eliminate Middle School Innovation Team

In support of the Board of Education’s guiding principle to continue moving the District forward, Central Office Administration has asked the Board of Education to consider funding the following positions, if funding is available.  These positions were part of the Focus Area budget originally submitted by the Board of Education.  They include the following:

·      Extended Day Literacy and Numeracy Programs
·      Social Worker at EEP (Alternative High School Program)
·      Additional Middle School ARTS Teacher in the Alternative Middle School Program
·      Health and Wellness Curriculum Resource Teacher

All of these recommendations will be discussed and a final consensus will be taken on the 2016-2017 budget next Monday, May 16, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.  The Board of Education will also discuss the option of outsourcing Food Services.  This meeting will occur in the Board of Education Conference Room at 100 South Turnpike Road.  The Board of Education will officially approve the 2016-2017 budget at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, May 23, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Robert Parisi Town Council Chambers. 

We encourage you attend all meetings if you have any questions or comments.  If you cannot attend and would like to share ideas or comments, please feel free to email them to suggestions@wallingfordschools.org.  The meetings will also be videotaped and televised on Channel 19 on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at noon, 7 pm and 10 pm


Salvatore F. Menzo, Ed.D.