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Budget

2021-2022 Superintendent’s Recommended Budget

Please accept the following as an introductory overview of the proposed budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.  Next year’s proposal of $36,887,270 is a net increase of $986,248 over this year’s current budget of $35,901,023.  The 2.75% increase that is being proposed represents a modest and responsible budget, yet it dutifully represents our mission and vision in numbers.

Entering into my second year as your Superintendent of Schools, I have seen first-hand the tremendous efforts made by the entire Suffield community in support of its public school system. Our Board of Education, district and school staff, parents, and our Suffield residents are all working in partnership to establish progressive educational opportunities for our students.  We have made significant progress to date, and our curriculum and program offerings are competitive with the majority of districts in the state of Connecticut.

Even during our current pandemic, we have remained true to our mission, values, and the strategic goals of the district.  However, it is as important today as it was in the past that we continue our momentum forward.  In preparing the 2021-2022 Superintendent’s Recommended Budget proposal, careful consideration was made with regard to the fiscal status of the State of Connecticut.  In addition, our entire district team reviewed current practices, reflected on the diverse needs of our students, and incorporated only those items which we believe are key initiatives worthy of consideration by the Board of Education.  I am hopeful that you will agree that the proposals included in the budget are of utmost importance to meeting the needs of the students we have been entrusted to serve.

The following synopsis will provide you with considerations for the 2021-2022 budget proposal.

Budget Drivers

Key Budget Initiatives

As we look into the future, our key initiatives in the 2021-2022 budget reflect the most current trends happening in schools across the country.  This budget proposal enhances our ability to provide new opportunities in athletics, academics, social emotional programming, and custodial support. 

  • 1.0 FTE Athletic Director
  • Part-time Custodial Support
  • Classroom Library Resources
  • EASTCONN Psychological and Behavioral Support Services
  • Teachers College Readers and Writers Project Professional Development

Wage and Benefit Increases: 

In May 2020, the Board of Finance voted to approve a 0.99% increase to the Board of Education budget.  This resulted in our current operating budget which represented a $353,153 budget increase for the 2020-2021 school year.  Although we anticipate a slight enrollment decline of 31 students in 2021-2022, our fixed operating costs that substantiate our most significant drivers cannot be easily adjusted due to contractual obligations.  The budget drivers that represent the greatest share of our overall proposed 2.75% increase are the increases to our negotiated contracts and the projected increase to our self-funded health insurance costs.  This represents $24,158,339 (salaries) and $6,671,102 (insurance) of the budget proposal. 

Negotiated Wage Increases:

  • SEA (Teachers)                                                                                                          1.1% (incl. Step)
  • SAG (Administrators):                                                                                               2.0% (incl. Step)
  • CHCA (Nurses):                                                                                                          2.0% (incl. Step)
  • Teamsters Local 671 (Para, Custodians, Secretaries, Academic Support):     2.0% (incl. Step)
  • CILU Local 222, Unit 38 (Food Service):                                                                  2.0% (incl. Step)

Health Insurance Partnership:

  • Projected Increase:                  10%

 Personnel Reductions

 Our efforts to meet the needs of our current student population and district objectives provides the reasoning for projected staff changes for the 2021-2022 school year.  In our efforts to minimize a significant budget increase, the following positions will be phased out with the positions being re-purposed to provide additional services that are in alignment with school district objectives.  The following staffing reductions are a part of the Superintendent’s 2021-2022 budget proposal. 

  •  0.8 FTE (Non-admin. Athletic Director) & 0.2 FTE (High School Physical Education)
  • $6,633 (Athletic Director Stipend)
  • 1.0 FTE (ELL Teacher)
  • 0.5 FTE (Secretary – MIS)
  • 1.0 FTE (Secretary – SHS)
  • 6.5 FTE (Paraprofessional – District-wide)

Budget Book

With this transmittal, you are receiving a formal budget book.  The purpose in creating this budget book is to provide an organized, transparent and comprehensive resource to Board of Education members about our current and projected revenues and expenses.  Further, the budget book will serve as an accurate point of reference regarding our current spending projections.  The format provides the answers to many questions that Board members may have or receive from community members seeking greater clarity around our fixed and variable operating expenditures.

In preparing this book, school and district leadership spent months reviewing our current programs and services with district staff.  To arrive at the next year’s proposed increase has been a lengthy and detail oriented process.  Both formal and informal discussions have been occurring at all levels, which gives me great confidence that the request is in alignment with the needs of the district.  Please take the next several weeks to review the information in this book and note any questions you may wish to present during our January workshops.

In conclusion, as we enter into another collaborative budget cycle, I would like to begin by thanking the entire Board of Education for the many hours you will devote to fulfilling our budget responsibilities.  Additionally, I view the proposal you are receiving today as the beginning to a very collective, informative, and strategic planning process that will ensure our schools remain an attractive asset to our entire community.

Sincerely,

Timothy M. Van Tasel
Superintendent of Schools

Budget Documents

2021-22 School and Departmental Budget Presentations:

Topics of Interest: