The Easton Board of Education presented its school budget for the 2020-21 school year to the Board of Finance in March. The BOE is requesting an increase of $707,586, which represents a growth of 4.24% over last year. The goals of the BOE were on full display as Superintendent Dr. Tom McMorran and Board Chairman Jeff Parker moved through a power point presentation outlining the needs of our district. They included:
- Addition of a kindergarten teacher and a para-professional as we plan for the projected increase in students from 82 this year to 94 in ’20-’21. Currently our kindergarten classes have 20-21 students spread over 4 sections. Without creating an additional class, our totals would be 23-24 students which is considerably above established norms for children in this age group.
- Addition of a .4 social worker. This is driven by student need and we continue to witness greater stress and anxiety among our children
- Addition of 1 special education para-professional to provide support to our new Special Education initiative known as Junior Bridges.
- The Board would also like to restore 2 cuts made last year that were not in the best interest of our children.
- Media Specialist at HKMS. We have a media/library containing hundreds of thousands of dollars in hardware, software and library books that is closed 30-40% of the time. This must be corrected.
- Extra-curricular activities at HKMS. A very important part of the middle school experience. It allows students to connect with each other in positive ways under the watchful eye of their teachers
These additions to staff and restoration of a lost position are valuable components of our educational offerings. Their costs are added to the contractual obligations in both salary and medical expense the district has with its teachers, para-professionals, custodians, administrators and central office staff.