School Board and the Public Get First Look at Proposed Budget for FY18

October 6, 2017



by Len Lathrop

After working with principals and senior staff, Business Administrator Karen Burnell presented the budget for the next school year to the school board during its Monday regular meeting.

The school board will use its next meeting on the 16th and a special meeting on the 23rd to review the budget; it is on the school board website for review,

The first look has a budget of $53,573,337, which is an increase over this fiscal year budget by $498,094.  Based on the 2016 appraised property rate, which will result in a 51-cent increase per $1,000.  On the $300,000 home that means a $12.75 per month increase for an annual increase of $153.

The increase is primarily from agreed-upon contracts, which are salaries and a 6.5-percent increase in the health insurance rates.  Those numbers are $727,237 in salaries and $495,164 for the health insurance cost.  At the school board meeting, Chairman Lavoie mentioned that the school department spends over $7 million for health coverage.

If you exclude the contract increase, the operating budget is down $489,761.

Additional areas of increase included in the budget:

ESOL includes an additional part-time ESOL teacher based on an increased number of ESOL students.

The facilities budget reflects a decrease, which reflects the elimination of the funds allocated in FY18 for the Alvirne High School gymnasium/library roof replacement.  Additions to the FY19 budget include bathroom renovations at AHS, LED parking lot lighting upgrades at Nottingham West Elementary School, HVAC technical vehicle replacement, and gymnasium floor refinishing at Hills Garrison School.  The current HVAC vehicle is approximately 15 years old and is nearing the end of its serviceable life.

Potential warrant articles, not part of the budget:

Collective bargaining agreement with secretaries;

Collective bargaining agreement with Hudson Federation of PSRPs (part-time para-educators, full- and part-time cafeteria personnel, and part-time licensed practical nurses);

Partial roof replacement at Hudson Memorial School; and

Capital Reserve Renovation Fund.

After the school board reviews and makes adjustments, the budget committee will review and possibly make changes and hold public hearings on the budget and other warrant articles.  Then the voters will be asked to approve during the March election.