Letter — Budget article was misleading

To the Editor:
I would like to clarify a couple of points in the Trumbull Times article of December 14 regarding the 2019-20 Trumbull Board of Education budget request of 3.88%.

As is the case every year, the vast majority of the increase is attributable to increases in Salary and Benefit, both of which are contractual; bus transportation, also contractual; Special Education Outplaced Tuition is required by law as set forth in student’s IEPs; and new staffing requests at the elementary school level are needed to accommodate an increase of nearly 60 more students than last year. All other line items, if combined, actually represents a reduction from the current year’s budget by $600,000.

In the article, it stated that staff salaries are increasing from 1% to 6% but it failed to point out that this generally reflects a two-year increase since union negotiations for school principals, other administrators and several other unions, now settled, were still underway at the time last year’s budget was adopted.

The article also incorrectly indicated that the Superintendent’s salary is unchanged for three years. The Superintendent has received salary increases annually. His 2018-19 salary increase of 2% was voted on by the board recently, but it came too late to be incorporated into the 2019-20 budget book, but it is included as part of a line item called “Reserve for Negotiations”.

We think it’s unfortunate that neither Mr. Eng, nor any of his staff, were able to attend any the budget meetings because it could have helped provide a clearer understanding to the public of the details in the 2019-20 budget request.

Loretta Chory (R), chairman
Trumbull Board of Education