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A Final Overview Of The Proposed School Budget

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The following is a portion of the March 9, 2015 Westford School Committee meeting. For other parts of the meeting, click here.

8:05 p.m. – Next was a public hearing on the FY’ 2016 Budget Public Hearing.

Tom Clay on March 9, 2015
Tom Clay on March 9, 2015

This hearing was not an full overview, but a chance for parents to ask any questions.

The general fund request for this year is 4.41% higher than last fiscal year. There is a reduction for fuel of $20,000.

The budget request this fiscal year is $56.3 million.

New requests included

–          1.8 teaching positions for teaching assistants, teachers and supplies for the new full-day integrated kindergarten class.

–          .4 positions for a teacher at the Stony Brook School

–          Funding for students who are expelled and serving long-term suspensions

–          .2 positions for a Mandarin Chinese teaching slot, up from .4 of a full time position.

–          An additional bus for high schoolers

–          2 full-time positions for special education teaching assistants

–          New speech therapists.

–          A .5 special education out-of-district liason focused on reviewing out-of-district placements and helping students transition to out-of-district placements. Currently 7 people are doing this job jointly.

–          Increases in heating funds of $83,000 and $11,000 for electricity per town requests.

–          An extra $5 per day for substitute teachers, coming up to the regional average of $75.

–          $30,000 for implementation of the digital learning plan.

–          $22,000 for curriculum needs

–          .5 more of a position for a systemwide technology technician, put to a 1.0 full-time equivalent. The current person works more than full time already and saves approximately $250,000 each year.

–          .1 more of a position for a K-12 Fine & Performing Arts coordinator, bringing the position up to full-time.

Total, there would be 5.5 new staff positions.

The full budget document is online.

School Committee Chairman Tom Clay said that this was just the tip of the iceberg regarding discussions over the budget, and was one last chance for people to talk about it.

There were no comments.

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