April 20, 2011

Schools face 'devastating' budget cut

Determined to freeze property taxes this year, Board of Finance members are eyeing a $175 million spending plan that would allocate $2.5 million less for education than it got this year.
The move would “devastate education” and leave the school system unable to cope with the needs of a growing number of low-income students, said Tom O’Brien, a longtime Board of Education member.
Neither O’Brien nor other school officials could say Tuesday what cuts the proposed reduction would mean for the education system other than trimming the number of support personnel working with needy children.
While fiscal overseers said they don’t want to hurt education, they also declared strong support for freezing property taxes this year if it can possibly be done.
“We’re trying to be fair to everyone,” said Finance Chair Rich Miecznikowski. “The taxpayers are falling off the cliff right now.”
The finance board is pondering $4.3 million in cuts suggested by the comptroller’s office in order to reach a budget for coming fiscal year that would hike property taxes less than 1 percent.
But finance commissioners said they’d like to see more cuts in order to freeze, or even lower, the mill rate. Click here for the full story.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

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