Home » News » Politics » Town Meetings
Derry voters increase school budget
With Derry Education Association president Meg Morse-Barry's successful motion to increase the budget proposed by the school administration and approved by the school board, voters will be considering an $81,903,691 budget at the polls on Tuesday, March 12.
However, that increased number may not have any real impact on the services provided by the school district.
Morse-Barry and those who supported the amended budget cited the 14 proposed staffing cuts, including 7.5 teaching positions, as the main reason to support adding money back to the budget. The budget as originally approved by the school board was a 1.65 percent increase over the current year's budget.
"Usually, I am concerned about the budget being cut beyond the board recommendations at the deliberative session," said school board member Ken Linehan. "This time it was certainly different. I was disappointed that only 80 people showed up for the meeting."
Linehan said the amendment approved on Saturday will be an unnecessary burden for taxpayers.
"I expect the district will still spend based upon the previous board-approved budget and the positions will still be eliminated," he said. "Unfortunately, we will now need to collect an unnecessary additional amount of money through property taxes and just give it back at the end of the 2013-14 school year."
The positions that were eliminated were chosen because they represented excess levels of staffing, according to Linehan.
"Through the good work done by the administrative team and looking at the district as a whole, efficiency improvements were identified," he said. "With these staff reductions, no programs will be cut and class sizes will still fall within the Derry School District goals, which are lower than state standards. It would be irresponsible of the district to spend taxpayer money in excess of what is necessary, regardless of how much is in the budget."
School board chairman Brenda Willis said she was also surprised by the motion at Saturday's meeting, but added that she voted against the proposed budget at the public hearing last month because she was concerned about some of the cuts.
"It is also frustrating to me to see nearly a 3 percent increase at Pinkerton Academy, with additions to their staff, while K-8 has to absorb all the cuts in revenue," said Willis. "The impact of cuts needs to be seriously looked at, not only for the next year, but five and 10 years out."
Willis said the school board has been working on the district strategic plan as it looks to the future.
"We need to review our facilities and the educational needs of our students and then continue to develop the plan and adjust it accordingly," she said. "There is much hard work ahead for the district, and much to be considered as to how we can best provide for our children and our community."
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Charles M. Arlinghaus: Taxation without representation again? - 3
- Another View -- Betsy McCaughey: Our free lunch President - 3
- Another View -- Karlyn Borysenko: Workplace bullying is a serious problem, governor - 1
- Another View -- Fred Hiatt: Disengage from the world, and this is what happens - 1
- David Harsanyi: Are teachers really underpaid? - 10
- Jonah Goldberg: The U.N. club needs higher standards - 0
- Another View -- Mike Biundo: Where is Shaheen's gas price outrage now? - 20
- Deroy Murdock: What if Gaza were San Diego instead? - 1
- Another View -- Jayne Millerick: Dems scaring women by misleading them on contraception - 55
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Patriots Notebook: Physical Browner brings it - 0
- Heroes all? A word cheapened by overuse - 4
- City Matters: Market Basket workers' outlook challenges the skeptics among us - 1
- Punch line: The NFL blows it - 1
- George Will: A conservative internationalism - 0
- Sox Beat: Red Sox haven't made a deal for Lester — yet - 0
- Drew Cline: Home is where the really competent governing is done - 1
- Two GOP heavyweights try to get NH fired up about 2014 elections - 0
- Tom Herzig's Trackside: Stergios family has busy racing season - 0
Canobie Lake Park shuts down popular ride
Supporters are now 'Abby Strong'
Dover man sought in Rochester shooting
Heroes all? A word cheapened by overuse
Mark Hayward's City Matters: Market Basket workers' outlook challenges the skeptics among us
Punch line: The NFL blows it
Havenstein says he has always opposed Obamacare, though company he led was paid to implement parts of it
George Will: A conservative internationalism