BETHEL  — The SAD 44 Board of Directors has approved the warrant sending the 2022-23 proposed budget to voters on Tuesday, June 14.

The budget, at $12,782,982, is up $389,450 over the current year, or an increase of 3.14%.

A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held in person at Telstar High School at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25. At that hearing, voters will receive a detailed presentation on budget details and have an opportunity to ask questions.

The budget is up for most departments, with slight decreases in spending for student and staff support and for career and technical education.

The largest increase is for regular instruction, with the proposed budget at $5,436,111, or $166,102 over fiscal 2022. Special education spending, as proposed, is up $53,173, system administration is up $25,007, transportation is up $32,688, and facilities maintenance is up $90,847.

At the public hearing voters will be asked to consider these increases, and will also be asked to approve transfer of any funds that may exist at the end of the year to reduce the district’s food service debt and to fund the district’s capital reserve account for any future voter-approved expenditures.


The recommended transfer to offset the food service debt is $150,000 and the recommended transfer to the capital reserve account is also $150,000.

Bethel taxpayers’ share of the fiscal 2023 budget will be $3,600,612, or $232,353 more than the current year. In Greenwood, the share will be $1,205,566, an increase of $50,123. In Woodstock, the increase is $76,591, at $1,650,743. And, in Newry, taxpayers’ share will be $3,426,342, or an increase of $184,265.

The total increase to local taxpayers for fiscal 2023 is $543,332, a figure higher than the overall budget increase to make up for a reduction of nearly $400,000 in state aid. According to Superintendent David Murphy, that reduction is due to increases in local property valuations which exceeded the state average.

According to a mailer sent to residents of the district’s four sending towns, the increased budget does not fully represent increases in costs for energy, fuel, insurance and salaries. To partially offset those increases, “other components of the proposed budget were reduced and an increased amount of carryover funds were committed to it,” according to Murphy’s message to taxpayers.

The budget validation vote on June 14 will be held in the district’s sending towns from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at regular polling places. In Bethel, that will be American Legion Mundt-Allen Post #81. Voting in Greenwood, Newry and Woodstock will be at each town office.

For more information on the budget, go to

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