Preliminary budget considerations show increased enrollments for Darien schools
Preliminary budget considerations show increased enrollment as state revenue continues to decline for the schools.
In a memo to the Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Stephen Falcone outlined the considerations that were being taken to prepare for the 2011-2012 school budget. Falcone predicts an increase in enrollment of 30 students district-wide with a specific breakdown of three fewer students in elementary, 10 more in the middle school and 23 more students at the high school, according to the memo.
In addition to enrollment increases, the preliminary budget takes into account the cost of utilities which Falcone said has stabilized to some degree. The schools are currently locked in at $2.2476/gallon for No. 2 oil until June 30, 2011, the memo stated.
One of the most significant costs for the schools is staff salaries and benefits. Preliminary projections show the salaries will increase for existing staff, but at a lower rate than previous years, the memo stated. Falcone predicts the costs of benefits due to the new federal health care requirements will increase between 10 to 14 percent but the actual increase will not be known until 2011.
The memo stated bus transportation services will increase about 2.85 percent and that is assuming the cost of diesel fuel remains stable.
Finally, the Excess Cost Grant money will continue to decline for 2011 and 2012, according to the memo. The projections are only a preliminary look at what the schools will need to consider when a budget is submitted but nothing is certain and the budget may continue to change as more information becomes available, Falcone said.