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Budget Concerns Superintendent

Budget setbacks are at the top of a list of concerns for the Wilton Public Schools, according a statement released by Superintendent Gary Richards just days before the new academic year begins.

For the 2010-11 school year, the district's budget is $70.29 million, a 1.17 percent increase over the 2009-10 year. The result of this small increase has been reduced funding for professional training, curriculum development and training; delayed maintenance to school property; and increased class size for grades 6-12. These changes have caused plenty of concerns for the district.

"These are important foundations of quality school systems and, as we argued over the past several years, erosion of those foundations will have some negative cumulative effects on the programs and services offered to our students," Richards' statement said.

One way the school board hopes to overcome the budget constraints is the implementation of the Wilton Public Schools Strategic Plan , which was approved last spring. The plan is a guide for the district over the next three years to tackle some of its problems.

One of the issues addressed in the plan is the budget. Through several strategies and tactics, the goal is to provide the resources necessary for improvements to be made and for the school facilities to be maintained.

Before the strategic plan takes hold, the district will have to make do with what it has as 4,345 students start a new school year Aug. 30.

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