Lebanon ed budget could bring spending hike

·3 min read

Jan. 17—LEBANON — The Lebanon Board of Education is in the early stages of developing the district's 2022- 23 budget, one that could bring a spending hike greater than in past years.

The initial proposed budget for next year is $ 20,728,376 if all staffing enhancements are considered.

Lebanon Superintendent of Schools Andrew Gonzalez said, as of now, next year's budget is up from the current year.

" Right now, not including staffing enhancements, we're at a 2.38 percent increase and, if we take into consideration all of the staffing enhancements, that puts us at 3.61," he said at Tuesday's board of education meeting.

The increase from this year's approved budget to next year's initial proposed budget is up from the past few years.

The four- year average increase from 2017-18 to 2021-22 was 1.22 percent.

The majority of next year's initial proposed budget is allocated to employee salaries and benefits ($15,994,590).

Gonzalez is slated to make $175,100 next year, which is a $100 raise from his salary this year.

ED BUDGET, Page 4

Right now, not including staffing enhancements, we're at a 2.38 percent increase and, if we take into consideration all of the staffing enhancements, that puts us at 3.61.

Lebanon Superintendent of Schools Andrew Gonzalez

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Ed budget could bring spending hike in Lebanon

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Contractual/ fixed services ($2,455,199) and transportation costs ($1,199,323) also take up considerable portions of the initial proposed budget.

The approximately $ 830,000 that remains in the initial proposed budget is planned to go toward instructional supplies, textbooks/ workbooks, technology, equipment/ capital and student- based activities.

Several new hires highlight the early 2022- 23 budget proposal as well.

Lebanon plans to hire a district social worker, nursing instructor as well as a speech and language pathologist.

The district also plans to make its district occupational therapist full time.

Program additions included are a drone pilot curriculum and materials at Lyman Memorial High School as well as a turf management course and funding for staff.

The decisions made, so far, in the budget plan include the board of education's approved goals, such as preparing a fiscally responsible budget while balancing objectives with the needs of the community.

Additional goals are maintaining current staffing levels and preparing students for their future endeavors by offering a diverse selection of courses and programs.

Gonzalez presented the initial budget proposal to the district's staff as well as community members.

The board of education's next step is to consider feedback while developing the budget as winter progresses to spring.

In February, Gonzalez will present a more finalized budget to the board of education.

At that time, the board will vote to accept the superintendent's recommendations.

Once the recommendations are approved, the board of education budget will be set by school officials.

From there, the board of education will present the budget to the town's board of finance in March.

After public hearings and other meetings, the town will vote to decide the budget at a town meeting slated for May 2.

Gonzalez noted at Tuesday's board of education meeting that he is pleased with the progress the board is making.

" I do feel we are in a very respectful and responsible place with our initial budget proposal," he said.

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