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Regional school budget moves forward to May 4 vote

FALLS VILLAGE — After a public hearing on Thursday, April 8 (on Zoom), the Region One Board of Education voted to send a slightly trimmed budget proposal of $16,026,463 to a regionwide referendum vote on Tuesday, May 4.

The Region One budget has three sections: Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS), Pupil Services (including special education) and the Regional Schools Services Center (RSSC).

Region One School District Business Manager Sam Herrick went through the 2021-22 budget proposal in fairly broad strokes for an online audience of about 25 people, including board members and school officials. 

The board did remove $16,580 in funds that were budgeted for marketing work, reducing the bottom line from $16,043,043 (an increase of $265.735 or 1.68%) to $16,026,463, an increase of $249,155 (1.58%).

Mike Ellington served as moderator.

Herrick noted that North Canaan is facing a significant increase in its assessment for 2021-22 of a little over $395,000. 

He reminded the audience that the formula for the assessments for member towns is part of the state law that established Region One, and added that the Region One administration has reached out to the state Department of Education concerning the matter, but has not yet received a reply.

One major change in the proposed budget is the addition of a social worker at Housatonic Valley Regional High School. During budget discussions, Principal Ian Strever advocated for the position, citing the disruptive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on students. Herrick said the position will be paid for in full with federal pandemic funds for 2021-22, and 50% federal funds in 2022-23.

Town assessments are below; towns are assessed based on the number of students from each town at the high school as of Oct. 1 the previous year.

 

Town assessments

Adjusted to reflect the subtraction of $16,580 from the marketing line

Canaan/Falls Village
$1,476,319
decrease of $200,098

Cornwall
$1,484,561
increase of $112,017

Kent
$2,509,743
decrease of $108,606

North Canaan
$4,762,646
increase of $395,667

Salisbury
$3,725,651
increase of $159,769

Sharon
$2,067,541
decrease of $109,596

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