The Board of Education begins budget planning approximately 18 months before it takes effect, publicly discussing needs and priorities. In the Spring each year, the Board reviews and approves Budget Procedures which provides long-range planning guidelines, budget limitations, budget assumptions and budget priorities needed for budget development.
During the months of July through September, school principals, coordinators, and other administrators prepare and submit their budgets. From August through October, the Superintendent and staff review the budget requests and prepare the Superintendent’s Proposed Budget for the following school year.
The Superintendent presents the proposed budget to the Board of Education in November, after which the Board reviews it in depth, revises it where necessary, and then adopts it in December. The Capital Budget then moves through the First Selectman's Capital Improvements Project Committee (CIP) and is updated before it moves to the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET). The Board of Education formally presents its approved budget (including the CIP adjusted capital budget) to the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) in early February.
The budget is then reviewed by the BET Budget Committee along with the First Selectman’s proposed budget and presents a combined recommended Town budget to the full BET in March, at which time the Town budget is adopted by the BET. The proposed Town budget then proceeds to the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) and is reviewed by the RTM’s Education, Finance, and Budget Overview committees as well as the 12 Districts. The RTM adopts the budget in May each year.
Funded primarily by local property taxes, the school budget is over 35% of the total town budget. Over 80% of the Board of Education budget is allocated to instruction.