The Budget for 2012-2013 represents a determined effort by the district to focus on students and their achievement. With a zero (0%) increase budget from last year, crafting the budget required creativity and difficult decision making to avoid any negative impact on student services and classrooms throughout the school system. The result is a recommended budget of $38,555,104 for the 2012-2013 school year.
The budget process began in the late summer as our district leadership team reviewed a resource allocation audit report done by Arum and Associates, LLC. The report helped us to identify areas of savings with minimal impact on student services. The process was anchored by three district priorities:
1. Academic Achievement with an emphasis on closing the Achievement Gap.
2. Positive School Climate guided by our review of the baseline data from the 2011 Spring Climate and Satisfaction Survey.
3. Parent and Community Engagement to support our district transformation towards a high achieving school system.
The 2012-2013 budget proposal clearly reflects our commitment to supporting student achievement. Our district will enhance our capacity to provide targeted instruction through more refined student assessment practices. We have allocated funds to provide extended learning opportunities through after school and summer school programs. We will continue to support teacher professional development through general funds and grant funds to meet the individualized needs of our students. We are mindful that our technology resources must grow along with our increased teacher and student learning. Therefore, we have invested in our district’s future by providing funds that will support our competitive edge in the use of technology in teaching and learning.
This budget process was made more challenging with a contractual increase for teacher salaries fulfilling the agreement with Bloomfield Education Association. This salary increase represents approximately $450,000 paid for through reductions and adjustments.
Funding our priorities, however, required some very difficult choices. These reductions include:
- central office positions
- positions at the school level where we could ensure minimal or no negative impact on student services
The recommended zero increase budget of $38,555,104 for the 2012-2013 school year was developed through thoughtful and objective examination of our needs and resulted in a balanced proposal for next school year and the near future. The Chief Operations Officer, along with our Business Office staff including the Accounting Director, the Benefits and Transportation Coordinator, and the Executive Assistant to the Chief Operations Officer worked tirelessly to promote our district goals throughout the development of the 2012-13 budget. Other central office staff and school administrators provided critical information to support this work. I am proud of the collaborative work exhibited throughout this process by all involved.
As a district, we are fortunate to have town citizens that understand the importance of education. This priority is mirrored in the town and Board of Education leadership who have generously supported our school system through many years of capital improvements and sufficient funds for an operating budget that clearly values the children and families of Bloomfield. Along with this 2012-2013 School Year budget submission, I pledge to work with our town and Board of Education leaders to fulfill our collective promise of delivering a high quality education that will allow the children of Bloomfield to reach their full potential.
James Thompson, Jr., Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools