Montville — The school board will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the high school library to discuss the proposed $41.7 million budget for 2022-23.
Superintendent Laurie Pallin presented the recommended budget Feb. 15 to the school board and the public. The proposal contains an increase of 4.81%, or $1.9 million, over the current budget.
At the Feb. 15 meeting, Pallin said the number was much higher than she would like, but it was necessary to “achieve the council’s mission.” She added that there had been many cuts to the budget in previous years and officials were now seeing increases in many areas.
A significant portion of the budget request, approximately $13.4 million, is offset by public funding for education.
Leading the budget growth is out-of-district tuition, which accounts for 44.5% of the increase. Salaries are also driving the budget growth, accounting for 28.4% of the increase.
With respect to tuition, the district is required to cover the cost of mainstream students who elect to attend Magnet and Vo-Ag schools under a state-funded grant. Costs are based on students enrolled in each school with 157 students this year enrolled in magnet schools, Vo-Ag or other high schools of choice. Projecting increases in the number of secondary students attending these schools, the proposed budget requests $823,496 for the next fiscal year.
The $2.4 million tuition budget also covers the cost of private school tuition for special education upgrades.
Pallin said enrollment in the district is no longer declining and remains constant. Based on the current school year and subject to change, the district has 1,942 students enrolled.
The board is also likely to make a decision on whether Leonard J. Tyl High School and Middle School should continue to use the “Indians” moniker and remove their M and T logos from any Native American symbols. Conversations about this have been ongoing for years between school and city officials and representatives of the Mohegan tribe, Pallin said in July.
The board must now make a decision on that after a budget bill passed last summer would withhold $1.4 million in school funding for the use of a Native American-related name as early as next year.
The bill says cities and towns have until June 2024 to notify the Office of State Policy and Management of their intention to change names and mascots, or obtain written permission. tribes to keep them. Otherwise, municipalities will lose funding from the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan fund starting in June 2023.