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School Board to Discuss Budget Proposal Tonight

The board meets Jan. 2 in the Long Hill offices to review Iassogna's proposed budget, which carries a 4.5 percent increase.

Tonight, the Board of Education will take up the 2013-2014 school budget proposed by Supt. Ralph Iassogna.

Iassogna has proposed a 4.5 percent increase comprised mainly of salaries and benefits, and increases in funding for special education and technology.

So far, guidance counselors and the need for up-to-date technology has occupied the district's budget efforts. But with the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown Dec. 14, parents have asked the school board to consider security no matter what the cost.

While Iassogna has offered no specifics, he called the school district's security plan 'solid' in a Dec. 28 letter, adding that security measures have been enhanced.

Once the board approves a proposal, it is sent on to the first selectman who makes his recommendation.

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The closest Trumbull has come to an incident lately was in May 2012 when gunshots on Old Town Road forced the lockdown of Frenchtown School. State and Bridgeport Police and the FBI were conducting a warrant sweep on the Bridgeport side of Old Town Road.

No one was hit and the shooter was arrested, police said at the time.

Project Catapult and More

Second on the list of concerns is the technology plan, called "Project Catapult," gets its name from the need to get the district's technology ahead, because it is so far behind right now.

An independent assessment of possible efficiencies by the Gibson group, a consultant hired by the town, specifically noted the district's technology is between six and 10 years old.

Not included in budget request is installing new turf on Trumbull High School's football field, which could be bonded along with other fields needing turf in town. Technology could also be included in a bonding request, school officials said.

Other concerns are the caseloads of guidance counselors, mainly at Trumbull High School, and the shrinking number of computer paraprofessionals, whose jobs have been eliminated over the past several budgets.

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