As the new superintendent of the Shelton Public Schools, I want to express my gratitude to all of those individuals involved in making the annual budget cycle a “no drama” process – especially the Mayor and the members of the Board of Education, as well as all of the administrators, teachers and parents who contributed to the development of a solid budget request. Our request of $71,117,230 (2.37%) is lower than last year’s in both amount and percentage of increase. It is focused on meeting the increasingly complex needs of our student populations. While the Mayor has proposed a reduced amount, it will allow us to accomplish much of what is needed. That is appreciated.
We have identified staffing needs primarily in response to several areas of special needs many of our students face. Traditionally, special education was for a very small group of students; but, throughout the nation, and in our state, there is an increased challenge to meet the complex needs of children with autism, behavioral issues and learning disabilities.
In a different way, English Language Learners have unique learning challenges. Those needs are growing! Our budget request includes new, trained staff to ensure we provide a legally mandated “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) for all students.