A new deficit plan for New Haven Community Schools promises a 16-percent reduction in the budget deficit, which had been estimated at more than $851,000 earlier this year.
School officials presented the New Haven school board with the new plan at a special meeting this week.
“Due to cuts in administration, a new teacher contract, increased enrollment and sound financial decisions, the deficit has been reduced by almost $130,000,” said Bob Randlett, who works with the
business departments of both New Haven and L’Anse Creuse, in a release.
According to New Haven calculations, the 2011-12 deficit had originally been estimated at $851,000 and with the new plan, has been reduced to $722,000.
“We realize it’s still a deficit and we have a plan to totally eliminate it by 2014," said Superintendent Keith Wunderlich, in a release. "However, the dramatic reduction, even with additional cuts from the state, shows we’re headed in the right direction"
Wunderlich added that despite additional cuts, New Haven has added programs for students and hired new teachers to lower elementary class sizes.
"We’ve had our funding cut, yet we’ve added programs and still have reduced the deficit," he said. "We’re very proud of those accomplishments.”
The deficit reduction was also made possible in large part from district teachers taking significant concessions in their contract for the next three years.
The contract, signed in June, is expected to save the district some $1.2 million in the 2011-12 school year alone, but it also means a different health care option for teachers with increased deductibles, increased co-pays and a 20-percent premium payment.
The contract also dictates:
- No steps.
- Six unpaid furlough days.
- No longevity.
- The elimination of an entire salary lane. Teachers currently in this lane will be grandfathered in, but the elimination will apply to future teachers.
The base salaries of New Haven's 76 teachers will not change, but the six unpaid furlough days will amount to a pay cut around 3 percent, said Marcy Gerlach, president of the New Haven Education Association, in an earlier interview with Patch.