Board of Education Addresses Issues of Remaining Budget

Board of Education Addresses Issues of Remaining Budget

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The BOE meeting last night, Wednesday, Jan. 10, addressed the issues of the underground oil tank replacement proposal and the proposed budget for the next school year.

The Board members began the night by focusing on the three oil tanks that need to be either repaired or replaced. Coleytown Elementary, Coleytown Middle and Long Lots Elementary all need new oil tanks due to leaking. Staples High School needs to repair an oil tank because it does not pass the Tank Tightness Test.

The situation at Staples is most severe according to Dr. Elliot Landon, Superintendent of Westport schools. Absolute Tank Removal (ATR), the company who attend to the tanks has said that it will cost roughly about 66,250 dollars to remove and repair the tanks.

One thing the board was unsure about is whether they can be fined for not being in compliance with the code. However, they do believe that since tanks are leaking, it is an environmental issue and they can be fined.

They then moved on the budget discussion. Last Friday the Board completed their discussion the salaries for next year, which is 80 percent of the budget. Last night they discussed what will be done with the remaining money.

Landon proposed that there be no educational interns next year. Interns cost 13,500 dollars for the ten weeks that they stay at Staples and permanent substitutes only cost 90 dollars a day. Substitutes are more cost-effective and they are more available than interns.

Another issue discussed at the meeting was the focus on the Gifted and Talented program at Staples. Board members are requesting that this program receives more funds because there are so many gifted students at Staples who would benefit from the attention this program gives them. With more funding to this program, Staples would be able to offer more Advanced Placement classes, which would interest many students.

The Board also resolved to discuss more issues about the budget at future meetings.