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School Committee Asks for $2.6 Million

The School Committee is requesting money to fund core services.

The School Committee is asking for $2,581,967 in additional funds through a supplemental appropriation.

The additional funds — that represents a 5.3 percent increase over the FY '13 appropriated budget of $50,852,532 — will be voted on by the City Council at their Monday meeting, said Mayor Arthur Vigeant.

The appropriation was the result of a truncated discussion of the FY '13 budget that was being resolved under the leadership of Former Superintendent Anthony Pope, said officials.

The appropriations were grouped under five major categories that were presented to the committee by Interim Superintendent Steven Dlott.

  • Contract Negotiations ($1,198,533) — Although negotiations have not been completed, estimates of increases required to retain qualified employees.
  • Teaching and Learning ($680,995) — The cost of bringing curriculum in line with new testing standards is not inexpensive.
  • Out of District Placements ($973,054) — This represents the cost associated with adhering to state and special education law mandates.
  • Building Special Education Capacity ($273,926) — These costs include conducting a special education audit and increasing behavior technician hours.
  • Salary Savings (Saving $544,541) — This has been done through the reassignment of 6 positions as well as holding new hires to a masters step 3 level.

Exactly where all the funds would come from was not finalized during the committee's discussion. The city did see higher than anticipated Chapter 70 education funds from the state and additional revenues, said officials.

"We are very fortunate in the city for the additional revenue we have coming in and are not anticipating a large burden on the taxpayers," said Mayor Vigeant.

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