Superintendent's Budget Requests 4.93 Percent Increase

Contractual raises and health benefits increases are major cost drivers going into 2013-14.

As the new year begins, Brookfield’s 2013-14 budget season is getting underway, beginning with the Superintendent of Schools, Anthony Bivona, presenting his administration’s budget proposal to the Board of Education (BOE) earlier this month. Bivona’s initial proposal request asks for $38,862,940, a $1,826,940 or 4.93 percent increase over the approved 2012-13 budget.

The BOE is currently deliberating on the superintendent’s budget and will deliver their final proposal to the First Selectman’s Office by January 31. The school board and administration will also be giving a joint presentation to the Boards of Selectmen and Finance in mid February.

The largest cost drivers in the superintendent’s proposal are employee benefits, which rose $592,754 or 9.54 percent year-over-year, and salaries, which increased 4.3 percent by $1,026,645.

The increase to the salaries line is due in part to seven new full-time positions, which collectively represent $273,688 of the $24,903,991 allocated for salaries in the superintendent’s proposed budget. The remainder of the increase ($1,026,645) is for $688,427 in contractual salary increases and an additional $64,530 in the budget for substitute teachers.

With the number of students requiring special education services in the district rising steadily since 2009-10 — including increasing from 297 for the current year to a projected 305 next year — five of the full-time positions being requested are to assist special needs students in each of the four school buildings. The proposal calls for two paraprofessionals at Center Elementary School (CES), one certified in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA); a paraprofessional at Huckleberry Hill Elementary School (HHES); a social worker at Whisconier Middle School (WMS); and a full-time special needs teacher at Brookfield High School (BHS).

The other two “full-time positions” are actually three teachers — one full-time and two part-time — to bolster the district’s World Language Program by adding an additional full-time language teacher for kindergarten and first grade students at CES and part-time Mandarin teachers for grade seven at WMS and grade nine at BHS.

The district is also working on implementing a three-phase security upgrade to four school buildings in the wake of the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook shootings in neighboring Newtown. Brookfield’s registered voters and property owners have been asked to attend a town meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in Town Hall to approve funding for Phase I and school and town officials will be meeting over the next few weeks to work on a funding plan to accomplish the latter phases before the end of the current academic year.

Bivona proposed a 2.76 percent increase in his initial budget proposal for 2012-13, which was adjusted slightly by the Board of Finance and ultimately approved by voters at 2.45 percent.

Historic Budget Increase (Decrease) Data

Fiscal Year

Dollar Increase

Percent Increase

2006-07 $967,500 3.08 percent 2007-08 $1,221,700 3.76 percent 2008-09 $418,022 1.24 percent 2009-10 ($88,369) -0.26 percent 2010-11 $1,410,762 4.15 percent 2011-12 $732,048 2.06 percent 2012-13 $886,000 2.45 percent Avg Increase
2.35 percent
2013-14 proposed $1,826,825 4.93 percent
JAMIE HOWARD January 16, 2013 at 02:30 PM
sam -i think you are being facetious with yor dictum passing remark= or may be your just an over paid administrator or burned out teacher= Sam we have a serious problem with the education system in america an it needs to be corrected not stupid silly corrective Indowendos-children are americas number 1 asset time for a BROOM
JAMIE HOWARD January 16, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Steven DeVaux January 16, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Brookfield's performance: Brookfield, CT - Single Family Properties 12 Months Ending: Dec-12 Dec-11 Change Unit Sales 142 114 24.60% Average Sale Price $395,427 $418,922 -5.60% Median Sale Price $334,950 $361,250 -7.30% Average List Price $525,824 $516,019 1.90% Sales to List Price Ratio 95.00% 93.79% 1.30% Inventory 134 138 -2.90% Months of Supply 13.2 12.8 3.10% MarketTime (Days) 116 130 -10.80% Price per Sq Ft $167 $174 -3.70% Keep raising taxes. The actions of first time homebuyers speak for themselves. No interpretation needed.
Rob Gianazza January 17, 2013 at 01:38 AM
I'm concerned that we are spending resources without properly addressing the current student needs. We are far behind guidelines for Art instruction, Music and Physical Education, yet the administration is recommending additional programs which will reduce the time students have available for their current studies. We have hired and will continue to hire remedial reading and math teachers to assist students is subjects that we are not properly supporting. Perhaps the time has come to focus on what we are currently doing and do it very well before we take on new initiatives.
Longtime Brookfield resident January 17, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Rob- I couldnt agree more but that would be way to business minded for the current administration - its called core competency and its what all successful businesses focus on and continue to stress as a main mantra to sucess. The problem once again lies in these new initiatives are tied to Mr Bivona's bonus payment so right or wrong he will try and implement. Maybe we should focus on the new all day kindergarten program and IPAD programs and work out any issues with these new programs. Once again too we must realise that any couple with a income of 100k already is dealing with a paycheck that contains $200 less dollars per month. So is this the time to implement new programs at a cost of 4.9% increase. We must also remember that any increase we implement now will be compounded as next years INCREASE which will be based on previous years final numbere and so on. This is not a ONE time capital cost but an long term operating cost. We need to bring everyone back to reality on this obscene increase


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