The budget now goes to Mayor Scott Jackson, who will make his own revisions before presenting it and the town budget to the Legislative Council on March 18.
Former Supt. of Schools Fran Rabinowitz proposed the $84.5 million budget in January, before she left the district to take the interim superintendent position in Bridgeport. The board’s Finance Committee then reviewed it and made cuts and revisions, much of which switched funding sources from the operating budget to the Alliance Grant budget.
The budget the Board of Education approved Tuesday totals $83,7 million, 2.92 percent higher than the current $81.4 million budget. Jackson will present it to the Legislative Council on March 18 at 7 p.m. at Memorial Town Hall.
The town receives additional state funds as a result of being named an Alliance District, identifying it as a district in need of improvement. The designation is a double-edged sword: it means additional money but brings with it the stigma of being one of the lower-performing districts.
But the program doesn’t recognize when a district improves, as Hamden has, school officials said.
“Once you’re on the list, even if you improve, the list doesn’t change,” said interim Asst. Supt. Karen Kaplan, who also is the district’s technology director. “We have made great use of the money hand have expanded in ways we wouldn’t have been able to without it.”
The money must be used to improve student achievement, and many of the changes made to the proposed budget switched the funding source for line items relating to student achievement to the alliance money.