Norwalk Schools Chief Proposes $164.9 Million Budget

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Board of Education member Steve Colarossi studies the proposed 2013-14 school budget presented Tuesday by Interim Superintendent Tony Daddona.
Board of Education member Steve Colarossi studies the proposed 2013-14 school budget presented Tuesday by Interim Superintendent Tony Daddona. Photo Credit: Alfred Branch

NORWALK, Conn. – To operate Norwalk schools next year, Interim Superintendent Tony Daddona is seeking $164.9 million, which represents a 3.4 percent increase over the current year’s budget.

Daddona’s proposal, which will be voted on by the Board of Education on Jan. 9 and the Common Council in February, seeks to restore several items that had been removed from this year’s budget after the district found a several million dollar shortfall last year.

Among those items are the addition of eight elementary and middle school librarian aides, an art teacher at Brien McMahon High School, a curriculum specialist, a buildings coordinator and three more special education staffers.

Additionally, Daddona is hoping to bring in six intervention aides, a need that arose after last week’s deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. 

“I met with six focus groups in recent weeks, and the keyword was ‘rebuild,’” he said Tuesday during a meeting of the Board of Education.

All told, the items Daddona hopes to restore would cost $1.1 million. The current year’s school budget is $159.5 million.

Additionally, he hopes to add another $1.5 million in other enhancements, such as special education programs and common core curriculum initiatives.

Mayor Richard Moccia, while careful not to endorse the proposal, said the figures seemed “much more workable” than the current budget, which had to be slashed last spring.

“My first impression is that the proposal appears to be closer to what the city and the Common Council wanted last year in terms of a smaller proposed increase,” Moccia said.

He cautioned that the state budget, which has not been finalized, could see an additional $15.8 million in cuts to programs such as magnet schools, after-school programs, school-based health clinics and other initiatives that Norwalk relies on.

“We don’t know how this will affect us, but we’re fighting for every dollar,” Moccia said.

Board Chairman Michael Lyons said he was pleased with Daddona’s request.

“They’ve tried to be very fiscally responsible with this budget,” Lyons said.

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What are intervention aides ? What do they do ? How did the need for them arise out of the tragedy at Sandy Hook ? Didn't we have them before Sandy Hook ? Are we going to hear Sandy Hook as justification for every school system need ?
I am not opposed to intervention aides, nor do I support them. I need to know more before I can form a valid opinion. Connecting them to Sandy Hook sets off alarms.

We don’t know how this will affect us, but we’re fighting for every dollar,” Moccia said.

Then why spend every dollar you have now on crap?Where most vehicles LAZ now drives for the parking auth has Norwalks plates on them all those NJ licence plates are now gone who pays for that?Some of those trucks leave the city who pays for the gas?

Your administration seldom did matching funds for the things Norwalk could of used crying poormouth and then see how much everyone makes in the city is also a poor way of showing any grant agency we are trying first as a city.Waiting for handouts fighting crime in Norwalk has left us one of the least desirable cities in CT right now.We may not have a shooting every day but the crime hasn't gone away almost 4,000 more police calls this year shows and increase somewhere.

But thank God Norwalk gets grants I didn't want to see my tax dollars go to the Hazardous Waste site full of chemical contamination called Oyster Park somewhere my family will never visit.It was never cleaned up and acording to State and Federal reports still leaks into the Norwalk River.The reports I'm sure no one has seen.

I don't understand where Norwalk is going to come up with the money,today during the fires ,accidents a and gas leak emergencies at Washinton Village in the city,Norwalk had enough money to send the new fireboat out for a spin.Norwalk has not seen what this new fire boat is going to cost the city,we as a city have no choice the Mayor and council voted for it without telling any one of us the cost that came with the FREE fire boat.Who is paying for the fireboat now?

The schools cant take a back seat we have at BM High a shooting already a less than a year ago,busses caught in crossfire a few times taking kids home and weapons were found at NHS along with the fact Briggs and middle schools have arrests all the time that has for the most part gone unreported to the public so yes the need for more security was cut many time by our mayor wannabee and the Mayor over budget responsibility

TWO of our own schools in Norwalk locked down and then evacuated within the last 5 months where gunman who did open fire with a rifle was arrested the other only added victims by gunfire at the other school so no one can really say Norwalk didn't need it before now could they?

Our city needs leadership one time you could count on the council to at least fight for what Norwalk needs now with a handful of council members fighting just to speak at meetings now what is going to get done is by far things the last council should of did someting about.

Its seems obvious Moccia will probably bail leaving the city full of empty lots along with empty buildings and even new high rises where none of them are paying taxes like the rest of us grunts.

Taxes will go up but by then our Mayor will flee like some other politicians in Norwalk knowing no one had anyones back all these years by voting yes for Dicks special projects.

I'm willing on our two properties even with no children in school pay more to make the city livable again.

I will be pleased if they bring back the librarians full time. The schools are not the same without them. The joy of reading has left the school so hopefully this will not change.