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Superintendent of Schools Dr. Greg Florio is requesting that the Town of Cheshire increase the school district's overall operating budget by approximately $1.8 million.
Florio made his request to the Board of Education at a public hearing on Thursday, which was attended by about 20 residents and numerous school administrators.
If approved, the education budget in Cheshire would go from $61,352,875 to $63,205,890. The proposal represents a 3.02 percent increase.
"I believe this (is a budget) that could pass muster through every step of the (budget) process," said Florio.
There is little in the way of new spending proposed by Florio, aside from a request for three new teaching positions at the elementary level, expected to be added to the staff at Doolittle School, if approved. Florio noted that, while the data shows Cheshire's student enrollment is expected to go down over the next several years, the drop was not seen this year, as had been anticipated. In fact, over 100 new students enrolled in Cheshire for the current school year, a majority of which were elementary school aged.
The last few budget cycles have seen the Cheshire School District eliminate 19 classroom teacher positions, and 14 of the 19 have come from the elementary schools, Florio explained.
"We need to accommodate for class sizes we believe would be unacceptable in Cheshire," said Florio.
For the full story on Florio's budget proposal, see next week's Cheshire Herald.