WESTON, Conn. – Elementary school Spanish classes, some after-school programs and some assistant coach positions might be eliminated from Weston Public Schools next year because of budget cuts, district administrators said this week.
The Board of Finance reduced the Board of Education’s $46.3 million funding request by $190,000 last month as part of its vote on Weston’s overall town spending. The Annual Town Budget Meeting last week upheld that number, leaving the school board with a slight decrease in funding for the 2013-2014 school year.
The final effects of the reduction will not be official until the Board of Education adjusts its budget at a special meeting on May 6. The district’s administration released a list of recommended changes Monday.
The list includes a plan to eliminate the foreign language program at Hurbutt Elementary School. The district currently offers a half-hour of Spanish lessons each week to students in kindergarten through second grade. The proposed change would replace that with another technology class to move the existing staff to other departments.
After-school programs would also be changed if the Board of Education accepts all of the proposals. The list includes canceling Odyssey of the Mind and Lego League, which were scheduled to start at Weston Intermediate School next fall. Three writing clubs at Weston Middle School could also be reconfigured to save program costs. The middle school’s Mock Trial program would also be changed from an elective class to an after-school activity to allow the teacher to be reassigned.
In the athletics department, the district’s administration suggests canceling plans to hire a new assistant basketball coach, and to get rid of an assistant softball coach because of declining participation. The proposal also suggests not filling an assistant gymnastics coaching job that is currently open.
Other plans to save money include charging an extra $50 for high school parking permits and putting off planned renovations and equipment purchases. The administration’s proposal also calls for buying fewer library books and reducing the amount of printing and copying, professional development and full-time substitutes.
The Board of Education will discuss and vote on the proposal at a special meeting starting at 7:00 p.m. on May 6 in the Weston Middle School Library Resource Center.
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