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Easton Schools Look to Restore Cuts in Art

EASTON, Conn. – The proposed $15.58 million Easton school budget was called “very, very tight” by Superintendent of Schools Bernard Josefsberg as he unveiled it for members of the Board of Education on Tuesday night.

The total spending plan represents a 4.13 percent increase, or $617,638, over this year’s budget of $14,962,405. The budget focuses only on Helen Keller Middle School and Samuel Staples Elementary School .

“This represents our best efforts, as of this date, to accomplish what we must do and fund what we aspire to become,” Josefsberg said. The superintendent's presentation Tuesday mainly focused on the restoration of several positions in the district.

Some of those restorations included a math specialist at Helen Keller, which would cost $41,953; a part time art teacher at Samuel Staples, which would cost $22,752; and new supplies for science labs with a price tag of $18,415.

The art teacher is needed because in 2010, “the cut reduced art instruction by half” at the elementary school, Josefsberg said. “Prior to 2010, K-5 students received two 40-minute periods of art per week; they now receive one 40-mionute period,” he said.

“Projects were curtailed so that they could be completed in two periods rather than four. Fewer projects were completed as a result, and the art teachers felt that they did not have enough pieces to host an art show,” Josefsberg said in his PowerPoint presentation.

The total cost for the proposed restorations would be $83,120 if approved. “This is a very spare budget on its face right now," Josefsberg said. "It’s a very, very tight budget."

The Board of Education will meet Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Helen Keller Middle School to discuss the 2012-13 spending plan.

Check back with The Daily Easton to get a more in-depth look and analysis on the 2012-13 proposed Easton Public Schools budget.

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