REDDING, Conn. – Redding Board of Education members met at a budget workshop Thursday to ask questions about the $22 million budget proposed for the 2013-14 school year.
Region 9 Superintendent of Schools Bernard Josefsberg and other administrators made the $22,011,593 proposal Tuesday. It would be an increase of $378,122, or 1.75 percent, over the current budget. Health insurance costs would rise from about $2.4 million to about $2.7 million.
The first item on the school board’s agenda was technology expenditures, which would include 60 new desktop computers for Redding Elementary School and 40 for John Read Middle School as well as 50 new laptops for the middle school.
Other technology expenses would include mobile carts and iPads.
The new equipment would replace old machines and acquire new capabilities, Josefsberg said. The costs would be lower because new items are less expensive, he said.
“It’s the right technology, and the uses are growing,” board member Diane Martin said.
Board member James Barickman asked whether the budgeting was right for the new technology. Josefsberg said, “It’s closer to responding to faculty demand.”
When asked whether the use of new technology is replacing standard forms of learning, board member Carrie Weisman Huber said, “It’s important to hold a book.” But she reiterated her support for new technology items that expand student learning and teacher instruction.
The new budget would also include $135,000 for security expenditures, which Josefsberg didn’t itemize except to say it would include new physical equipment and collaboration with the police.