Revised Region 12 budget heads to voters
Voters in Washington, Bridgewater and Roxbury will be asked to consider a revised budget for Region 12 schools on June 5.
The school board approved a $21.8 million budget proposal last week, which is about 1.98 percent larger than the current budget, but about $165,000 less than the proposal that failed in a May 8 referendum.
Though that budget passed in two of the region’s three towns, it lost badly in Roxbury and failed to win overall approval, 567 to 535.
Roxbury rejected the budget 236 to 153. Bridgewater approved it 154 to 122 and Washington approved it 228 to 209.
The largest factor in the budget increase was an additional $526,000 for health insurance premiums. An additional $100,000 is also needed for special education and another $100,000 for teacher contracts.
During the public hearing, some said the increase, coupled with the decline in state aid money and falling enrollment, made it a hard budget to approve.
The board made two cuts to arrive at the new number, including reducing the salary line for the superintendent by about $15,600.
Region 12 hired a new superintendent, Megan Bennett, this spring, who is to start July 1. She replaces Patricia Cosentino, who has held the position for six years and will take over as New Fairfield’s superintendent at the start of the fiscal year.
The other cut was elimination of an administrative position, which translates to a savings of $150,000.
Director of Finance and Operations Robert Giesen said the board has not decided which administrator it will be yet.
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the three towns, he said.