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Employee Benefits Budget Overview

Posted Date: 03/07/2023

Norwalk Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Lunda Asmani discusses some of the finer points of employee benefits and how they impact the proposed FY2023-24 budget. See the video and slides below for more details.

To participate in the March 7 Common Council special meeting, please click here for more information.


nps funding trajectory

  • Represents historical funding as well as a hypothetical trajectory of funding.
  • The dotted line illustrates the hypothetical scenario if ARPA funding did not occur based on typical average funding increases over the years.
  • FY22 budget was flat funded by the City. The BOE needed to use ESSER (COVID) funding to make up for this 0% funding increase which had a compound effect over years to the budget.
  • Keeping with the trajectory, the BOE would require at least an 8.5% budget increase for FY24 just to get back on track with a maintenance budget that has been requested for FY24

Employee benefits chart

  • The change in accounting allocation methodology first occurred in the 2022-23 budget and was explained at that point in time during the budget process.

Recurring ESSER Expenses

Category A (3% of FY24 increase): 

  • Most of these school counselor and social worker positions were preexisting positions in this category with a few additional ones newly added. The majority were not new and fit within the grant guidelines that the district deemed to best meet ESSER goals.
  • At the time of the ESSER award, the district needed to identify items that would fit the grant parameters while also balancing the budget when the BOE received flat funding. These staffing positions accomplished both.
  • The goal of mitigating learning loss can mainly be accomplished successfully through internal staffing support to students, not outsourced services or one-time costs.

Category B (1.7% of FY24 increase)

  • The BOE added new positions, which included existing teachers currently engaged in these new roles. The new positions consisted of math and reading/writing improvement teachers which were completely aligned with the spirit of ESSER funding.

Year to year differences in funding

  • The chart illustrates the change in accounting allocation methodology that occurred in the 2022-23 Budget. The yellow section illustrates the benefit expenditures by level including elementary, middle and high schools as well as districtwide services.
  • There is no change in the cost calculation methodology, simply a realignment of benefits to properly account for and match benefits with the corresponding salaries in the correct location and level within the budget.
  • The chart also illustrates the shift in benefits with an increase in the school levels offset by a decrease in the districtwide services bucket between the 2021-22 and 2022-23 budget years.  The new methodology continues into the 2023-24 budget year as can be seen in the benefit trends. This new methodology provides for a better reporting and forecasting of benefits in each department and fund.


For more information on the proposed budget, click here.