Developing the Proposed FY 13 Budget was once again challenging due to the difficult economic environment. For FY13, we began the budget process with $423,000 less available offsets, compared with FY12. The School Committee, administration, and staff have worked hard to develop a responsible budget that maintains reasonable class sizes, protects curricular and extracurricular programs, continues current services, and continues progress on the Strategic Plan, with only modest increases in select school fees.
The school district’s proposed budget for FY 13 is $34,085,238 which represents an increase of $1,127,516 or 3.4% compared to last year`s budget. The budget will support a projected student enrollment of 3,390 students, which reflects a decrease of 55 students from the current fiscal year.
The proposed budget effectively allocates resources to improve student achievement and to further district progress towards the priorities in its Strategic Plan. As a result of payroll savings from teacher retirements, staff attrition, reorganization, and the efficient use of revolving account revenues, the district has been able to 1.9 additional FTE’s. Included in this number are 4.1 new teaching positions which are partially offset by a reduction of 2.2 support stafß The teaching positions allow us to maintain reasonable class sizes, provide interventions for general education students, and to meet the needs of our special education students.
The School Committee appreciates the collaborative efforts of the Board of Selectmen, the Town Manager, the Chief Financial Officer, the Appropriations Committee, and the Capital Improvements Committee. We have worked together to be more cost efficient, to generate revenues, and to judiciously use monies from the town, state aid, and revolving account balances.
As citizens, you have made a significant investment in your schools over the years that has translated into increased student success in the classroom, on stage, in athletics, and in academic competitions. The reputation of our schools and the town has been enhanced. We have always appreciated your support and will continue to do our best to justify it.
Please take the time to familiarize yourselves with the school district’s budget. We encourage your participation in the May 7, 2012 Annual Town Meeting and look forward to your continued support during these challenging times.