The Superintendent’s FY22 Budget Recommendation was presented to the Suffield Board of Education at the December 7 meeting. The proposed budget of $36,887,270 is a net increase of $986,248 over this year’s current budget of $35,901,023. This represents a 2.75% increase. It is important to note that our current budget, FY21, was a 0.99% increase. In response to our current health crisis and the fiscal uncertainty it has created for everyone, significant efforts were made to develop a FY22 budget proposal that reflects the challenges we are facing as a state and community. With fixed costs such as wages, benefits, special education, maintenance and transportation making up the largest percentage of the budget, the administration utilized staffing attrition and pupil enrollment to offset a significant increase to our operating budget. With the fiscal climate we are in, we recognize that school and district improvement is a challenge that can only occur incrementally and over time. As a result, we have prioritized only a select few initiatives for next year. Restructuring administration to create a Director of Athletics, utilizing our decrease in Pupil Services expenses to further our special education programming and partnership with EASTCONN, and aligning our professional developmental to school-specific literacy and social-emotional learning are ways we achieve change in a time of fiscal constraint. Over the next two months, the Board of Education will deliberate on the budget proposal, make modifications, and finalize a proposal for the Board of Finance and Town of Suffield to consider. We encourage residents to attend all budget deliberations, albeit remotely, and provide feedback to the Board of Education throughout the budget development process. In addition, information regarding the FY22 budget can be found on our district’s website at www.suffield.org/district/board-of-education/budget.
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to Suffield’s elected leadership and department heads for the high level of collaboration that has taken place throughout this pandemic. In addition, I would to thank our Suffield Public Schools families and staff for their courage, patience, and understanding as we continue to navigate the complexity of teaching and learning during these unprecedented times. It is so hard to believe that we have reached the halfway point to the 2020-2021 school year, and we look forward to making the most of the next six months for all of our students. Their academic, social, and emotional well-being weighs very heavily on all of us, and we look forward to bringing stability and normalcy to each of their lives. It is my hope that the mass vaccinations mark the beginning of the end to this health crisis, and that we will soon reestablish the rituals and routines that bring meaning to our lives.
We’ll get through this together!