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Weston Schools May Cut Five Teachers

WESTON, Conn. – Five elementary and intermediate school teachers could be cut under the $45.6 million education budget proposed for 2012-13 in Weston.

The budget, unveiled Wednesday night, represents an increase of 0.93 percent, or $420,854, from current expenditures.

"Our enrollment is decreasing in the district, and it's mostly in the lower levels," said Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer.

During her presentation to the Board of Education, Palmer said the cuts would include two kindergarten teachers, one second grade teacher and two fifth grade teachers. "We do not anticipate staff reductions in the middle school or high school levels," Palmer said.

According to projections, Hurlbull Elementary School will see 42 fewer students next year, and Weston Intermediate School will have 33 fewer students. Although she proposes cutting five teachers, Palmer said classroom sizes would "continue to meet the Board of Education guidelines."

Palmer projected the following class sizes for the lower levels:

• 18 in kindergarten,

• 18.7 in first grade,

• 22.9 in second grade,

• 22.6 in third grade,

• 22.8 in fourth grade,

• 21.9 in fifth grade.

The superintendent is also looking to begin all-day kindergarten at Hurlbutt, which would come at no additional cost to the town. According to Palmer, implementation of the new program would use existing kindergarten teachers. Having an all-day kindergarten in Weston, Palmer said, "will permit time for the balanced program of academics and social emotional support for these young learners."

Eliminating a half-day for kindergarten would also eliminate the need for half-day kindergarten buses, which Palmer said would save the district a total of $29,678.

Wednesday night's meeting was the first of three Board of Education workshops on the budget. The next workshop is set for Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Weston Public Library.

A breakdown of the complete budget proposed 2012-13 can be found here .

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