Norwich School Board: Going Paperless Would Save Money And Trees

By: Melissa Stagnaro

NORWICH – The Norwich school district could cut more than $4,000 from next year’s budget if the school board went paperless, and in these trying budgetary times, every bit helps.

With a binder containing the district’s preliminary budget by his side, Superintendent Gerard O’Sullivan told the school board that in any other year he’d be “clicking his heels” over the numbers. But with uncertainty over state aid, even a small increase in budget expenses could mean a double-digit increase in the tax levy.

“Obviously, that’s not going to work,” O’Sullivan said, turning the focus to identifying where expenses can be reduced in order to mitigate the impact on taxpayers while maintaining the district’s academic programs. The district’s approach, the superintendent explained, will be to “cut the budget while preserving the classroom.”

Cutting down on the time and resources associated with preparing school board documents is one of those potential cost savings which would keep the impact far from students. The idea was proposed by board member Perry Owen at the Dec. 2 school board meeting.

Owen cited the sheer volume of pages each board member received prior to the meeting (68 on that occasion, multiplied by nine.) Other large organizations, including hospitals, were making the move to paperless systems, he reported, and he suggested the district investigate doing the same.

“There must be a feasibility for us,” said Owen at that meeting. “Furthermore, it’s ‘green.’”

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