Minimum Budget Requirements


By Jacquelyn StevensMinimum Budget Requirements Drawing

Minimum Budget Requirements, which are statutory requirements, are levied at a 2-to-1 ratio. In the current framework, a town that cuts its budget by $50,000 and breaks the one-half of 1 percent threshold could see $100,000 less in its education cost-sharing grant from the state. Because RSD 13 is cutting Korn we can still lower the proposed budget by 11,000, but if we spend more than that we will lose state funding and our taxes will increase.

MBR is calculated at the district level and is the sum total of all the expenses in RSD13 schools.

“It is important to understand that the RSD13 budget is made to support the operation of a great school district and requires that funds from the state grant known as Educational Cost Sharing reach the school district,” said RSD13 Business Manager Mr. Ronald Melnik.

Connecticut’s General Assembly stated, “Under current law, the MBR prohibits a town from budgeting less for education than it did in the previous year unless, and with limits, the town can demonstrate a decrease in school enrollment or savings through increased efficiencies. If a town receives an increase in state education cost sharing aid, its MBR will increase over the previous year by the amount of the aid increase.”

“While it is true we are closing Korn School and there will be savings from that action, the students and teachers will still be part of the district. We will be relocating the 145 students and all the third and fourth grade teachers to Brewster and Memorial Schools. Additionally, there are numerous one-time costs and ongoing costs required due to the closing of Korn School,” said Mr. Ronald Melnik. “Regional School District 13, like all school systems, must follow the state of Connecticut statutes that the legislature signed into law, [and] the MBR is decreasing 1.85 percent next year compared to the 2015-16 budget.”

Jeremy Renninghoff, one of the RSD13 Board of Education members, said, “I vote no because the budget is just too high. Even though we could only make about $11,000 in additional reductions before we hit the MBR, it’s a matter of principle. Our district spends more per pupil than districts which have lower per pupil expenditures and better performance.”

For more information on the budget, see Morgan Cunningham’s article on “Comparing CT Salaries”.