Berlin Community School board discusses budget

Vote on financial plan for 2023-’24 to take place next month

Eighth grader Luke Vazquez is presented with the superintendent’s award by Superintendent Dr. Joseph Campisi and middle-school Principal Therese Bonmati.

The Berlin Community School (BCS) Board of Education held a regular meeting this month at which Business Administrator Donna DiLapo introduced a tentative preliminary budget of more than $15 million for the 2023-’24 school year. 

Budget proposal votes will take place next month. Part of the estimated cost of the budget will include roughly $14.5 million from the general fund. Also in the plan are a general fund tax levy of $7,980,397 and a debt service fund levy of $720,031.

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While the budget is slightly higher than in previous years, state aid and a referendum will help keep the cost to taxpayers at 8 cents. Total funds coming from the district and state aid account for a 3.2-percent increase over last year, a total of $462,000. More than half the budget – 74 percent – pays for teacher and staff salaries. 

“The largest change in percentage of budget (allocations) is in special education,” DiLapo explained. “We were at 4 percent last year and it is 7 percent this year. This is due to some increased student needs; as the number of students increases we have increased needs that (have) to be met.” 

Superintendent Joseph Campisi addressed the school’s new eSports team, which had its first competitive match on March 14. 

“I had a chance to go in and watch them, watch them score their first goal in Rocket League,” he noted. “It was really great to see.”

At every board meeting, BCS students of the month are recognized for contributions to the school community inside and outside the classroom. This month’s honorees were fifth grader Ella Cohen, sixth grader Laila Harper, seventh grader Vanessa Owusu-Mensah, and eighth grader Connie Dong. Eighth grader Luke Vazquez also received the superintendent’s award. 

Another topic at the board’s session was the resignation/leave of absence of elementary-school Principal Kellilyn Mawson. Her resignation will be effective May 12. The matter was brought up during the meeting by an attendee, who identified herself as a parent and BCS educator. 

For more information and a presentation of the tentative budget, visit the BCS website.

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