With COVID funds phasing out, schools in Norwalk face tough budget decisions

NORWALK — The city’s public schools face tough decisions in the next fiscal season with expiring COVID dollars, historical inflation rates and ongoing supply chain issues.

The Board of Education closed the 2022-23 budget season last week and approved nearly $218 million in operating budget reconciliation. The city approved the school district’s 4.5 percent increase over the prior year, which was the board’s basic request to meet contractual obligations.

The city rejected the board’s request for an additional 3.7 percent increase to cover half of the emergency aid funds for elementary and secondary schools that expire at the end of the next school year. The district has used these funds to add school counselors and in-building social workers.

With the approved funding, each elementary school will have a school counselor and maintain a literacy teacher and a math corrector. All elementary schools except Jefferson also added a library media specialist.

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