NORWALK, Conn. — The Norwalk Public Schools 2014-15 operating budget as requested by Superintendent Manny Rivera has been posted on the NPS website, and the operating budget dollar figure – $168,118,385, a $5,846,521 increase – 3.6 percent – over the 2013-14 budget – is the same as it was in Rivera’s initial pass in mid-December.
Also included on the NPS site is the capital budget request seeking $5,797,450, including $2,358,200 for Common Core implementation and $1,725,000 for enhancements to school security. The request includes almost $1M for district technology and the remainder for Rowayton construction ($380,000) and district-wide paving and concrete work ($365,000).
The operating budget increase includes $5,102,793 in salaries and benefits, including those mandated by an arbitration decision that froze Norwalk Federation of Teachers salaries in the year.
The five-year capital plan includes continuing requests totaling more $1M annually for technology and an average of about $300,000 a year for paving and concrete work.
The superintendent’s budget request will be formally presented to the Board of Education at its Jan. 7 meeting. That meeting is expected to focus solely on the budget.
After the first draft was presented Dec. 10, NancyOnNorwalk sent Rivera a list of questions, which he declined to answer.
“I made a presentation to the Board Finance Committee,” he said in an email. “There were questions raised which we are responding to. I will then make my formal presentation to the full Board next Tuesday, and there will be more questions raised. We will develop our responses for the Board.”
That meeting was snowed out, and the presentation was pushed to Jan. 7.
The Board of Education must sign off on the budget request before it goes to city Finance Director Tom Hamilton, who is expected to meet with the board to discuss the request, then submit it with his own recommendations to the Board of Estimate and Taxation at its Feb. 10 meeting, and to the Common Council at its Feb. 11 meeting. The BET and the council hold meetings to discuss the entire city budget and, by the end of February, the council sets a preliminary city budget cap. The BET works with the various city departments before presenting its own recommendations for the budget to the council in April, and the council may then adjust the cap.