Plainfield to Discuss Proposed School Budget

Meriden — Plainfield residents tonight will have a chance to learn about a proposed school budget of just under $6.1 million and to discuss the possibility of launching a full-day kindergarten program.

The School Board is holding a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. at the Plainfield School to discuss the budget, which represents a 1.2 percent decrease from the current school year, according to School Superintendent Greg Vogt.

He said the impact on the tax rate would remain flat under the proposal.

However, the budget does not include two articles likely to be on the School District Meeting warrant for new school personnel contracts. A two-year contract with 2 percent cost-of-living raises each year was recently ratified for support staff. Vogt said there is a tentative agreement with teachers on a new contract for them, but details are not being released pending ratification.

A community forum will be held right after the budget hearing to gauge public interest in going from half-day to full-day kindergarten. The cost of the measure, which might also be put on the Town Meeting warrant if there is public support, would be $85,000 for teacher salary and benefits and supplies, Vogt said.

Plainfield is expected to have 21 kindergarten students next year.

School officials in Cornish and Plainfield also continue to discuss how to collaborate on some shared services in light of declining enrollments in both towns.

Hot lunches for Plainfield School students this year, for instance, are being trucked over from the Cornish school.

“It seems to be working out,” Vogt said.

The Plainfield School District Meeting will be held Saturday, March 8.

— John P. Gregg