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Board of Education approves cuts to 2014-2015 school budget

Superintendent+Elliot+Landon%2C+far+right%2C+sits+with+the+Board+of+Education+during+Monday+nights+meeting+which+determined+the+school+budget.
Justine Seligson
Superintendent Elliot Landon, far right, sits with the Board of Education during Monday night’s meeting which determined the school budget.

At the Board of Education’s meeting on Monday, Feb. 10, BOE members approved a 2014-2015 school budget to be submitted to the Board of Finance.

The BOE’s budget would represent a 5.89 percent increase in funds from last year, a number that could change to a 5.19 percent increase if the BOF approves an appropriation for $1,088,709, a sum that would pay insurance claims and establish a health insurance reserve fund or “risk corridor.” These items stem from this year’s deficit in health insurance funds.

The BOE budget reflects reductions to Superintendent Elliott Landon’s proposed budget, which had originally called for a 6.51 percent increase. The decreases to the proposal included reductions in technology and instructional supplies, a decrease of one permanent substitute in each school, the removal of half of a paraprofessional from Coleytown Middle School, a reduced projection for special education costs, and the deferral of classroom refurbishments.

The budget also includes increases in programs, with an expanded STEM program in the middle school and added to the high school, and an additional paraprofessional for each elementary school.

“My priorities were maintaining all instructional programs and health and safety,” Landon said.

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About the Contributors
Eliza Llewellyn, Web Managing Editor
Eliza Llewellyn ’14 is driven and well-rounded. Now that it’s her third year on Inklings, she’s ready to take the lead. As web managing editor, Eliza is excited to advance the Inklings website with innovations in media and graphics. It’s not going to be easy, and fortunately her experience as co-captain of the Staples JV tennis team has taught her the valuable leadership skills necessary for the job. Not only this, but her position on the yearbook committee and her commitment to playing piano constantly puts her time management skills to the test. While her job on Inklings may also be extremely time-consuming, she puts it above all else. “If I’m doing homework at 10:30 p.m. and a new e-mail pops up with an article, I stop what I’m doing to read it,” said Eliza. “It’s one of my first priorities.” When Eliza isn’t editing articles, she’s writing them. Last year she wrote a news story, "Legacies: Investigating a College Application Controversy," which she considers one of her best works. “It felt good to talk to guidance counselors and college admissions officers because I was finding information that people would not get otherwise,” said Eliza. This year she hopes to pursue writing in-depth and research-based articles, as well as find a good balance among all her extracurriculars. With her dedication and drive, there’s no doubt Eliza will go above and beyond.
Justine Seligson, Photo Coordinator
Being a self-described political junkie and a teen travel writer, Justine Seligson '15 is not only, without a doubt,  a well rounded student and basically a mother's dream, but also a very unique addition to the staff. Seligson is extremely modest about her accomplishments, but it is very clear that her extensive journalistic experience outside of Inklings has largely influenced her presence on the paper. "I have a column on teen travel on my parent's website, which is called Farewell Travels," Seligson said. "It's a very different type of writing [than Inklings] but it's definitely helped me to grow as a journalist overall." Seligson goes on to describe the plethora of exquisite articles she has written for her column over the years. Seligson further explained how her experiences in traveling have shaped her journalistic presence in a large way. She explains why she is nonchalant about the amazing experiences she has had traveling the globe, explaining that it has always been a way of life for her and her family. "My family travels all the time," she said. "It's just part of our business." However, Seligson says that "...[she] would a much different writer if [she] hadn't traveled so much." She casually mentions how much of an impact a pre-college Kenyan writing program had on her, as what an honor it was to be featured in the National Geographic Student Edition. "It made me realize that even though journalism may supposedly be a dying business, there may be some hope for me to pursue my dream career," she said. With her in-depth knowledge of travel and politics, Seligson is sure to be an interesting voice on the paper this year. She hopes to improve her writing and photography even more this year, as well as to help other staff members to increase the quality of their own photographs.

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