EAST HAMPTON, Conn. (WTNH) — With pandemic-era funding running out and inflation boosting costs, districts are facing financial struggles going into the next year.
“Everything just costs more,” East Hampton Public Schools Superintendent Paul Smith.
East Hampton could slash about $800,000 from the proposed budget, which would mean staff layoffs.
“The challenge is when 70 or 80% of your budget is made up of staffs, like most school districts, 70 to 80% of the cuts are going to be teachers and staff,” Smith said.
Smith said staffing cuts impact everyone.
“You just can’t give that individual attention our kids must have right now,” Smith said,
There’s hope this budget won’t be pushed through.
“I’m sad for my son and for all these kids, it’s so sad,” said Christine Aloia, a parent in East Hampton.
Board of education member Michael Buck is encouraging residents to get involved.
“It’s on us to come voice your opinion and show our elected leaders what is truly important and where we want to invest our money in,” Buck said.
In Colchester, the district is looking at a proposed budget increase of about 10%.
“There are taxpayers who are looking at the budget increases and what that will mean for them as homeowners when other expenses are quite high,” Colchester Public School Superintendent Daniel Sullivan said. “This isn’t timed well for anyone.”
Sullivan said the district is looking at all options, including reducing full-day kindergarten and middle school band.
“If we received a low increase, we’d have to make devastating some very difficult decisions,” Sullivan said.
Stratford teachers rallied on Wednesday outside Town Hall to urge the town council to reject the budget.
In East Hampton, parents are expected to pack a town council meeting next week.