James Palen Board of Finance meeting

Board of Education Approves 3-Year Teachers Contract Increasing Cost $1.5 Million Each Year

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Darien’s 484 or so public school teachers would get an average pay increase of almost 12 percent over the course the next three fiscal years under a contract recently approved with no public discussion by the Board of Education. The new contract will increase the town budget by roughly $1.5 million in each of the next three fiscal years, very roughly 1% of the next three town budgets. The teacher’s contract now costs the town roughly $50 million. The teachers have already ratified the contract, which is officially estimated to cost the town $4.7 million more in its final, third year than the town now spends on its current contract, although the official estimate is artificially high. A significant feature of the new contract is a concession by the union to have teachers at the secondary level (the middle school and high school) take on a larger number of classes: They currently teach 4.5 classes at a time.

Darien Public Schools

School District’s Five-Year Budget Projections Have Lots of Extremely Soft Numbers

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When the Board of Education discussed the five-year “financial projection” for school district spending and revenues on Tuesday, there was some disagreement about whether or not it would be better to reduce some of the guesses about future state aid, and whether or not to anticipate an expansion of the Early Learning Program for preschoolers. But what everyone discussing the projections appeared to accept (and nearly everyone stated it in one way or another) was that no one knows how much state aid Darien will get, if the town gets any aid at all. And no one knows exactly what kinds of programs or changes to programs that the school district will have in future years. There are also plenty of other unknowns in the budget: If more teachers retire than usual in any given year, that could lower personnel costs considerably as new teachers hired to replace them would likely be younger and get lower salaries. Personnel costs are about two-thirds of the entire district budget.

Darien Public Schools

School District Officials ‘Predict’ Increased Spending, Slight Enrollment Declines in Next 5 Years

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Five years from now, in the 2021-2022 school year, there will be 21 fewer students in Darien Public Schools and the school district budget will have increased by just over 20 percent. That’s according to a planning document presented to the Board of Education and up for discussion at Tuesday night’s regular board meeting. The meeting is expected to be broadcast later (not live) by Darien TV79. The document isn’t a hard prediction, but a tool for planning purposes, as Michael Feeney, director of finance and operations, pointed out in a Nov. 20 memorandum.

Michael Harman 3-6-16

Board of Ed Chairman: Spending Increase Due to Personnel, Training, Tech

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Higher personnel costs, together with more teacher training and the introduction of more technology into classrooms accounts for three quarters of the 3.44 percent increase in proposed school spending, according to the chairman of the Board of Education. Michael Harman, chairperson of the Board of Education, spoke early last week to the Board of Finance, as did First Selectman Jayme Stevenson at the official hand-off of their budget proposals for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. The Board of Finance will gather more information this month and later decide whether to cut or increase the budgets before sending them both to the Representative Town Meeting for final approval. The next 12-month fiscal year starts July 1. __________

See also:

2016-17 Budget Proposals Presented to Darien Board of Finance
Stevenson Presents Selectmen’s Budget with New Proposals, New Cost Savings

Budget document: Board of Selectmen’s proposed 2016-2017 budget
Budget document: Board of Education’s proposed 2016-2017 budgetRevised school district Capital Projects Plan description


The Board of Education’s budget request of $93,847,816 is an increase of 3.44 percent over the 2015-2016 budget approved last year by the Representative Town Meeting.