The addition of 14.4 staff positions and a 4.4 percent increase in the total budget was proposed by School District officials Tuesday.
“The most important people in our system are the ones who deal with direct services,” said Interim Superintendent Stephen Dlott of a proposed FY 2014 $55,769,250. “We are trying to address the needs of all children.”
The budget represents an increase of $2,334,751 over the FY 2013 adjusted budget. This budget is a jumping off point for the discussion of a final budget that will be voted on in March, said Dlott.
“This is really a draft of a budget. It is how they do the state budget," he said. “This is not a complete budget. It is a first run through of the budget.”
The focus on staffing in the budget is important as many positions such as English Language Learner and Science teachers have a high demand, said Dlott.
“We want to be able to attract and retain teachers, especially in tough areas," he said.
The following positions are added in the proposed budget:
- 1.0 first-grade teacher (Kane)
- 1.0 Mandarin Chinese teacher (Whitcomb)
- 1.0 engineering teacher (Whitcomb)
- 1.0 math teacher (MHS)
- 0.4 foreign language
- 5.0 ELL teachers (1.0 FTE per school)
- 1.0 ELL para (MHS)
- 1.0 SPED teacher (Richer)
- 2.0 psychologist (Jaworek, Kane, Whitcomb, MHS)
- 1.0 Language-based Resource Room teacher (Whitcomb)
These positions were added to raise achievement throughout the district, said Dlott. They will cost the district $754,670 in salary before benefits are factored in.
The budget also includes projected savings of $954,238 which include $140,000 saved through seven projected retirements. Those are the only staff reductions included in the budget.
Mayor Arthur Vigeant said that the city's budget is still being worked on so the budget for the school district has not been finalized.
“This is a difficult number to achieve,” said Mayor Vigeant of the proposed school district budget.
A public hearing is scheduled for March 26 with a second meeting scheduled for April 2 when a vote on the budget will occur.