Although a few RTM members brought up ways to potentially save money and generate revenue without compromising Westport’s high standards of education, the legislative body was and the overall state of the Westport school system.
The RTM voted unanimously at Tuesday night to recommended by the Board of Finance. Furthermore, the RTM set the overall Westport town budget at $188,201,587 following their .
RTM Finance Committee member Allen S. Bomes said more can be done to generate revenue with eight schools available in town.
“We strongly urge that the Board of Education adopt a policy that permits rental of all school facilities to others... in order to bring in additional revenue,” Bomes said.
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RTM Education Committee Chair Velma Heller said the Board of Educations’ decision making and . Heller acknowledged that the board paid close attention to the quality of Westport’s education program as well as ‘.’
Heller also recognized that the Board of Education has, ‘in many places taken the lead’ in in order to achieve cost savings while maintaining high standards.
RTM member William F. Meyer III enthusiastically . He brought to the podium a 2008 issue of Connecticut Magazine that rated and number one in the state. Meyer was pleased to say that the rankings were out of 1,000 schools statewide.
RTM member Louis M. Mall called the recommended budget ‘fiscally sound’ and commended our teachers and administrators for ensuring Westport schools excel in the ‘three A’s: academics, arts and athletics.’
One cost that Mall did want to change was school bus parking in Westport.
“We could change parking in this town and save $250,000 a year,” he said. “I’ve always wondered, why aren’t we moving this forward?”
Mall noted a $200,000 cut to secretarial positions in the 2012-2013 recommended school budget.
“Those are important people in our school system,” he said. “It pains me that that cut is being made because they are very key members of the education community.”
When asked about future growth of the Westport school system, Board of Education Chair Don O’Day referred to the 'Westport2025 initiative,' a program he says ‘keeps us ahead of other districts.’
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Elliot Landon said ‘2025’ is Westport’s effort to, “ensure the children who attend our schools, now and in the future, will have the opportunity to develop into creative, critically thinking problem solvers who have superb communication skills and who have a global way of thinking.”
Landon said Westport’s teachers and administrators are ‘the best of the best’ and that they work collaboratively to develop programs and initiatives that ensure our students stay ahead of the curve.