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Budget Sagas Continue for Local Towns

The CT Mirror has an article today you’ll want to check out titled Public schools confronting ‘catastrophic’ budget woes–and the worst is ahead.  The article surveys the budget problems towns around the state are facing.

In Norwich, as in other cash-strapped public school districts, spring is the mean season.

Trying to balance its budget, the district has decided to cut out middle school sports, foreign language classes and an instrumental music program. It will end some after-school bus routes. Officials are considering closing an elementary school.

And nearly a quarter of the district’s teachers have been notified that their jobs are on the line.

It is a scene being replayed across the state as school districts prepare budgets for the 2010-11 school year and confront what educators say is the worst financial crisis in decades.

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman’s letter to Governor Rell today projected this year’s deficit at $371 million – about $147 million below Wyman’s March 1 projections.

“As this is part of the stimulus program, the savings are temporary,” Wyman warned in her letter to Rell. “Neither of these current year expenditure reductions addresses the long-term structural imbalances in the state budget.”

The legislature and governor continue to work to close the gap in the budget but they have yet to agree on a plan.

Majority Democrats in the Senate tried to eliminate the rest of this year’s deficit, adopting a plan Saturday that includes a mix of spending cuts, tax hikes, and additional federal revenue. But after Rell pledged to veto the plan, demanding more spending cuts and objecting to a proposed increase in the tax on multi-million dollar estates, the Democrat-controlled House suspended their plans to vote on the deal.

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