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Palmer Seeks $420K Bump for Weston Schools

The superintendent presented her budget request to the Board of Education last week.

Dr. Colleen Palmer, superintendent of , is requesting a 0.93 percent budget increase for the 2012-2013 school year.

Last week, Palmer requested roughly $45.6 million, a little more than a $420,000 increase over last year’s approved budget. The proposed increase is less of a percentage than .

Weston’s overall school enrollment is projected to decrease by 51 students, or two percent, next year, according to data provided by the district. But costs associated with employee contracts and consumable goods and services, among other things, are driving the budget. According to Palmer, teacher's salaries will increase by $336,000, but that cost is offset by $272,000 in savings by

As a result of the decreased enrollment, the district will lose five full-time teaching positions (three at the elementary level and two at the intermediate level) and 1.15 full-time equivalent “specials teachers.”

Palmer's seeking a $129,000 increase in curriculum and instruction as well as a $98,000 increase in technology, both areas which "directly support the core work of teaching and learning."

The preliminary goals of Palmer's are as follows:

  • Increase technology integration at all levels to support learning;
  • Address capacity and reliability of district's technology network;
  • Provide adequate support to continue implementation of ;
  • Implement a systemic data management plan;
  • Increase opportunities to access talent and resources of the Weston community;
  • Develop a comprehensive communication plan regarding district programs/initiatives; and
  • Increase communication to all parents and all stakeholders and seek feedback.

The district is also gaining a full-time district-wide data coordinator and a 0.4 full-time equivalent paraprofessional at the intermediate school.

According to the school board’s budget assumptions, however, “the district will continue to explore and implement opportunities to be most cost effective, to contain costs and to avoid costs wherever possible.”

The district is saving $51,022 in energy, $37,657 on its copy center, $26,736 in materials, $20,917 in the reduction of repair allocations, $15,850 in legal fees, $13,715 in transportation and $8,680 in postage — a total of $446,900, Palmer said.

The Board of Education's will take place tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at the .

martin munitz January 24, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Is she serious? Budget increases at this time. Does she know what is going on in the rest of the country or does it not matter? Does she think people can continue to pay higher and higher taxes without some end in sight? I really think it's time for everyone to make some adjustments. Martin Munitz
Ellen January 24, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Please feel free to call on my daughter, Mr. Godfrey. Thanks to her American History teacher at Weston High School, she can tell you more than you would like to hear about the Monroe Doctrine. This wonderful teacher inspired her to pursue a career in teaching history and is attending one of the best educational institutions to achieve this (although why she would want to be a teacher in this day and age is beyond me)!
Ellen January 24, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Believe me, teachers share the burden. I am a teacher, too! I call to question my daughter's wanting to be a teacher due to comments such as yours. Teachers do become teachers because of a calling, however, they still have bills to pay including the ever increasing cost of child care, medical expenses, mortgage payments and everything else in this "terrible economic climate." Teachers are "lucky to have jobs", too however, there will be less and less qualified individuals to do the job if there is no way to pay the bills! I am offended by this "shame on anyone" comment you made and so, will not follow up with any others you make!
Ellen January 24, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Unfortunately, I don't agree that comments such as shame on anyone...are either rational OR civil. Does that mean anyone who does not agree with you? Shame on you!

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