School board seeks $102.4 million for 2017-18

The Trumbull Board of Education has unanimously approved a 2017-18 budget request of just under $102.4 million. That amount is an increase of $3.46 million, or 3.5% over the current year’s budget, but about $200,000 less than Superintendent Gary Cialfi requested in his proposal.

Cialfi said the approved budget would allow the schools to meet their needs.

“This budget allows us to meet all of our contractual obligations, while continuing to invest in curriculum development, professional development and technology,” Cialfi said. “Our team has been working hard to reduce costs and increase efficiency in non-student related areas and we are continuing to invest in our students.”

Among the programs the budget will fund is the introduction of Spanish in fifth grade, SAT prep courses at Trumbull High, an increased effort of curriculum development, and the acquisition of a Chromebook computer for every student in grades three through eight, Cialfi said.

Board Chairman Loretta Chory credited school staff and her fellow board members with working to keep costs down while enhancing education for students.

“We were faced with a challenging budget year,” Chory said. “With mid-year reductions in state funding, the potential for changes to the Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) formula and Hartford’s enactment of a municipal spending cap, we were conservative in meeting our contractual obligations and determining where we need to strategically invest in our students.”

The Board of Education budget has been forwarded to the first selectman for his review and then will go to the Board of Finance and Town Council for further review and approval.