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Moultonborough school budget includes job cuts

MOULTONBOROUGH - The Moultonborough School Board hosted a sparsely attended public hearing Tuesday on the proposed school district warrant and the $13.9 million budget for fiscal year 2013-14.

The school board and the Advisory Budget Committee recommended approval of six warrant articles, including the district budget of $13,996,856.

This budget, which was the last of four budget proposals prepared by School Administrative Unit 45 Business Manager Kay Peranelli, reflects a $355,374 reduction in salaries and benefits due to the retirements or attrition of an assistant principal position at the Central School, a part-time physical education position and part-time community education position. Three part-time positions - music, physical education and art teachers - have been eliminated for a savings of $129,825. The budget includes the cost of increases in medical and dental insurance, contributions to the New Hampshire retirement system, and a 2.1 percent salary increase per negotiated labor contracts.

Overall, the proposed fiscal 2013-14 budget is $60,172 less than last fiscal year.

Peranelli said the Moultonborough School District is experiencing a decrease in enrollment, like many other districts in the state, with an aging population and out-migration of young families. She said the district has lost 142 students over the last 10 years.

At the elementary school, the decrease translated to five fewer elementary school classes and the loss of five elementary teaching positions through attrition, she added. Version three of the proposed budget reflected two additional cuts to teaching positions, but those were reinstated following public outcry at an earlier meeting.

Other warrant articles include a request to authorize and school board to contract with an independent auditing firm for a fiscal year audit; a request to add $50,000 to the special education expendable trust fund (no amount raised by taxation); and an article that would authorize the school district to retain a year-end unassigned general fund not to exceed 2.5 percent of the current fiscal year's net assessment. The fund would be used as an emergency fund.

School board and town elections will take place on March 12, at the Moultonborough Public Safety Building, 1035 Whittier Highway, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The school district and town meeting will be held on March 16 at 9 a.m. at the Moultonborough Academy auditorium.


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