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New Boston's $12.5m plan, 3 labor pacts go to voters

NEW BOSTON - It took less than an hour to consider the five articles on the school district warrant during Tuesday's deliberative session, and unanimous votes greeted the request to place each article on the ballot unchanged.

Around 20 voters were in attendance for the deliberative session that weighed a $12.5 million operating budget, a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the teachers union and a question about whether to enter a new area agreement for educating the district's middle and high school students with Goffstown and Dunbarton.

The budget, which marks a $431,206 increase over last year, reflects an increase in retirement costs borne by the town, the addition of a first-grade teacher, increases in tuition to Goffstown, fuel prices and insurance premiums and a new reading program.

A 12 percent increase in special education costs has arisen from the decision to move a line item for a school psychologist used by the New Boston and Dunbarton school districts onto the New Boston budget. New Boston will have the psychologist on hand three days per week and receive payment from Dunbarton for the two days a week the psychologist works in that district.

Tuition for students attending Mountain View Middle School will increase 7.1 percent, and high school tuition at Goffstown will increase 4.1 percent.

The three-year collective bargaining agreement with the district's teachers includes a 1 percent raise for the first two years and a 1.5 percent raise in the third year. The contract will cost the district $81,455 in the first year, $72,007 the second year and $87,637 the third year.

Article 4, asking voters to approve a new area agreement with Goffstown and Dunbarton, drew no discussion from the attendees.

The agreement continues in a tradition of educating the three town's middle and high school students together, with New Boston and Dunbarton paying tuition to Goffstown. The tentative agreement was reached after study committees in New Boston and Dunbarton began exploring other alternatives to educating the students. New Boston decided that the current arrangement made most sense, said school board member Wendy Lambert, but Dunbarton voters will choose between returning to Goffstown or forging a new agreement with Bow. If Dunbarton goes with Bow, Goffstown and New Boston will have to renegotiate their agreement, said Lambert.


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