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Finance board OKs education budget, saves family resource center



NORWALK — The Naramake Family Resource Center could be spared from closing, pending Board of Education approval next week.

The BOE Finance Committee approved Superintendent Steven Adamowski’s budget recommendation Thursday, with one addition — to increase the budget by $100,000 to fully fund the family resource center that would otherwise be shut down.

“The state had cut our funding in half on this from $200K to $100K and we decided to spend city dollars to keep both open,” said committee chairman Bryan Meek.

Norwalk has two family resource centers — one at Fox Run Elementary School and one at Naramake — which provide access to early childhood and family support services.

The state opted to cut the family resource center budget by roughly 26 percent last year, asking districts with more than one family Resource Center to eliminate all but one by the end of 2017.

Acting on advice from state officials, the district applied to fund both family resource centers on the chance that enough centers already closed, leaving some funding leftover.

When the funding didn’t come through, it was up to Norwalk Public Schools officials to determine which one would stay open, or find a way to fund them both.

The effort to fund the family resource center brings the total budget increase request to roughly $9.9 million — a 5.3 percent increase in the total operating budget.

The total request is modest compared to last year, when the board requested a 10.1 percent increase to the operating budget — mostly to cover rising health insurance costs. The board ultimately reached an agreement with the Norwalk Federation of Teachers to transition to a less costly health plan, and received a 4.5 percent increase over the 2016-17 operating budget.

The full board will vote on the proposed budget at its meeting Tuesday.


kkrasselt@hearstmediact.com; 203-842-2563; @kaitlynkrasselt

Article source: http://www.thehour.com/news/article/Finance-board-OKs-education-budget-saves-family-12494257.php