WILTON, Conn. – Wilton Public Schools will request a nearly 4.4 percent increase in the 2013-14 Board of Education budget.
Superintendent Gary Richards and the Wilton school board unveiled a $77.3 million spending plan for the next school year to parents and other Wilton residents on Thursday. The spending package is 4.39 percent more than the current budget approved by voters last year.
Employee salaries make up the bulk of the budget, accounting for $45.77 million. That total is $1.41 million more than what is being spent on salaries this year. Employee benefits will make up $15.1 million of the proposed budget, about $506,000 more than 2012-13.
Several parents had questions about plans to move to daily all-day kindergarten instead of having a pair of half-day sessions. Marissa Lowthert said she’d like for the board to reconsider it so parents could have more time to discuss it.
“There hasn’t been much time for parents to think about it,” she said, noting there is research that shows full-day kindergarten can be detrimental. “Wilton has a unique program where children get small-group instruction and the Wilton Schools are recognized for developing well-rounded children.”
Kara Berghaus supports the budget, but hopes district officials can encourage a platform to focus on preschool and have more money and staff put toward it.
“I feel like it (preschool) needs more attention. The population is increasing … and the need for special services is increasing.”
Richards said the district will wait to hear from a newly formed security committee before making many changes in school security. Many school districts have started focusing on building security following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown last December.
The Wilton school board is expected to vote on the budget proposal Feb. 7. The Wilton Board of Finance will review the proposal March 27.