Sharon pays highest per-pupil education rate in state

SHARON — State Representative Maria Horn (D-64) as well as Sharon’s Board of Selectmen attended a meeting of Sharon’s Board of Finance in Town Hall on Tuesday, June 18. Horn was in attendance to discuss the declining student population at Sharon Center School, as the elementary school costs resident taxpayers what is now the highest per-pupil amount in the state.

Connecticut State Department of Education’s Bureau of Fiscal Services expense report for the 2022-23 school year (released in Jan. 2024) showed Sharon’s per-pupil costs at $48,021. Cornwall ranked second in costs at $37,019 per-pupil. Region One was listed as the most expensive district rate in the state at $37,624. The statewide average that year was $21,310.

“The whole state is shrinking. Every town is shrinking. Certainly, these towns are shrinking,” Horn said.

She plans to meet with the State Department of Education to address the school’s budget. Sharon Center School’s building has been the focus of many town-funded projects, including replacing the air conditioning, roofing, and the oil tank. The hope is to achieve future repair projects through the town and capital plan budget, so as not to further inflate the school’s budget.

Sidewalks

The town has been awarded a $1 million dollar grant for the cost of sidewalk construction, but $66,000 dollars will be needed for the design and engineering before construction can begin.

As of June 18, First Selectman Casey Flanagan noted Cardinal Construction as the preferred firm to go forward with this project. The timeline is not set in stone, but optimistically ground may be broken in spring of 2025. The design for the sidewalk project will have to go through many approvals, including Planning and Zoning, the Historic District Committee, and the state.

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