WE ARE HOMETOWN NEWS.

SOUTHWICK — While residents of Southwick and Granville will be asked to increase their annual allocation to the schools for fiscal year 2025, Tolland would pay less.

During a March 15 hearing at the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District offices, it was reported that Southwick’s assessment to the district for the next fiscal year will increase by $823,529, or 6.36%, to $13,673,955. Granville’s assessment is increasing by $169,322, or 8.18%, to $2,019,716.

Tolland’s assessment, on the other hand, is being reduced by $40,625 from $527,665 in FY24 to $487,040 in the coming fiscal year. The reason for Tolland’s share is reduced is because there will be fewer students from town enrolled in district schools next year.

The district’s overall FY25 budget is proposed to rise 2.77%, to $28,263,951 from $27,505,895. The largest increase in the budget is related to students from Southwick, Granville and Tolland attending out-of-district schools for vocational education, charter schools or School Choice.

In FY24, the district covered out-of-district tuition for 46 students at a cost of $1,514,699. For FY25, the number of students will increase to 61 at a cost of $2,138.672.

Special education costs for students going out of district is also increasing. In FY24, the initial budget for special education was projected at $866,000, but ended up actually at $1,226,000. The district is projecting to spend $1,154,843 in FY25.

To help offset the increase in out-of-district tuition, the district is proposing to withdraw $265,000 of the $915,000 in its restricted excess and deficiency surplus, which functions like a savings account for the school district.

Despite the increase in the overall budget, the district is proposing spending grant money, incoming School Choice tuition payments, circuit breaker and rural aid to pay for a number of positions, including three reading interventionists, one math interventionist, 17 paraprofessionals, 11 district special education tuitions, four in-district special education teachers and a 504 coordinator who is responsible for preventing discrimination against students, employees and others based on disabilities.

The School Choice and circuit breaker money will also be used to fund assistant principals at Powder Mill School and at Woodland School, respectively.

Each town will also see its share of the debt service for pay for the renovation of Southwick Regional School drop. In Southwick, the debt service will decrease to $1,390,949 from $1,394,789, in Granville from $220,421 to $219,803, and in Tolland from $62,968 to $62,791.

As the number of students enrolled continues a downward trend, from 1,281 in FY24 to 1,258 next year, the state is continuing to increase its Chapter 70 allocation to the district, from $10,002,678 to $10,078,848, but at a slower rate than in previous years.

In 2021, the district’s Chapter 70 allocation was increased by $43,450, but the amount of the increase has declined each year since: $39,630 for FY22, $39,030 for FY23, $38,430 for FY24, and now $37,740, as student enrollment declined.

The district is also requesting $60,000 to repair stairs at Powder Mill School and $65,000 for a new van.

cclark@thereminder.com | + posts