Westport finance board proposes $129M school budget after cuts

WESTPORT — The Board of Finance approved a $129.5 million school budget for the 2022-23 school year after cutting the requested amount by nearly $800,000.

The Board of Education’s requested $130.3 million budget would have been about 3.75 percent higher than the current $125.6 million budget. However, the finance board cited ongoing talks in the school district’s health plan and potentials savings as the reason to instead approve a 3.1 percent budget increase.

Board members noted that if ongoing talks are not successful in the next couple of weeks, full funding would be restored to the budget. Finance Chairwoman Sheri Gordon said the budget process can often be “fraught” with the back-and-forth, push-and-pull nature, however, this year’s budget process has been steadily moving forward.

“This has been the most smooth and direct budget process I’ve ever had, and we really appreciate how everyone was so forthright about the challenges, and about the successes, and the areas where we need to focus for the children,” Gordon said.

Earlier this week, the finance board reviewed the $78 million town portion of the total proposed $223.8 million budget for the next fiscal year.

The finance board approved almost all of the items, but made cuts to the Westport Transit District Wheels2U funding and cut the town retiree health care…

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