Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight unanimously approved a $121,936,487 Board of Education operating budget for 2020-21, a 3.12% increase over the current academic year.
The reopening of Coleytown Middle School (CMS), a 10% bump in school health benefits and funds for facilities upgrades are key reasons behind next year’s increase.
That amount, plus aid to private and parochial schools and debt service brings next year’s total education budget to $131,429,948, a .41% increase.
In response to a question by RTM member Wendy Batteau about added educational costs due to COVID-19, Acting Schools Superintendent David Abbey said that distance learning challenges will “inevitably relate to additional costs.”
The total school budget coupled with next year’s $75,225,309 municipal budget, a 2.81% reduction from the current year, plus and other agencies’ budgets approved Monday, puts Westport’s total 2020-21 budget at $212,772,828, which the RTM also approved unanimously tonight.