I am sure you are aware of the Connecticut budget crisis. This may have an impact on the school district depending on the final resolution. At this time there is not much information coming to school superintendents so we are operating in an environment of uncertainty.
The Governor’s Executive Order calls for massive cuts in municipal aid to Somers. This includes the ECS Grant (Educational Cost Sharing). The governor reduced ECS by 50% from about $6 million to around $3 million. Obviously a reduction of this magnitude could have a devastating impact on the school system for years to come. We do not think this will be the final resolution.
When the state legislature finalizes a budget we are hopeful that any cuts in municipal aid (especially the ECS grant) will be small and thus minimize the impact on the school system. In anticipation of a reduction in aid from the state, we instituted a spending and hiring freeze over the summer. We are trying to reserve our budget so we can meet any cuts when the final state budget is approved. Obviously this means some things will be different this year for students including the suspension of field trips, postponing the purchases of new text books, not buying or replacing technology and some positions not being filled.
I am sorry and frustrated that we have to start the school year this way. I pledge to do everything in my power to minimize any impact on our students as a result of the final budget passed by the state legislature. Let’s hope the governor and legislature do not solve the state budget crisis by sacrificing our schools and students.