Trumbull schools may get a $510,870 budget bump after the state did not reduce the town’s education funding by as much as expected.
Trumbull stood to lose $1.2 million through a combination of reduced state funding and an increase in teacher pension expenses. Instead, the state budget passed last week reduces Trumbull’s state aid by about $218,000. The town also will not have to absorb the $510,870 teacher pension expenses. That is not ideal, but certainly better than the alternative, said Board of Finance Chairman Elaine Hammers.
“The state allocated $437,000 in Educational Cost Sharing funds to us, and we were able to use that to reduce the mill rate,” Hammers said. On Monday, the finance board approved a 2019-20 mill rate of 34.74, an increase of 2.12 percent over the current year’s 34.02.
When she presented her budget proposal in February, First Selectman Vicki Tesoro had said that she had budgeted as if the state would push the entire teacher pension cost onto the town, but would recommend redirecting the money to the schools if the state continued to fund the pensions. Last week, the state did just that.
“As promised, I will recommend to the Board of Finance and the Town Council that the monies set aside for the teacher pension expense totaling $510,870 be transferred to the Board of Education,” said Tesoro. “If this recommendation is approved, the total increase to the Board of Education budget will be $2.5 million, a 2.5% increase over last year.”