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School budget cut Derry proves shaving can be done

December 29. 2013 8:40PM

It was not a Christmas miracle. Probably. But who knows?

On Dec. 16th, the Derry School Board and the Fiscal Advisory Committee completed a school budget that will spend less than the current budget. It is more than $1 million lower than last year's budget and $333,646 less than the default budget, according to school district business manager Jane Simard.

The Lord, and the school board, work in mysterious ways. Not too mysterious, though. One of the reasons for the spending reduction was the district's enrollment decline, school officials told this newspaper.

The district is eliminating two positions at Derry Village Elementary School, two at East Derry Memorial Elementary School, one at South Range Elementary School and one at West Running Brook Middle School.

In most districts, school officials argue that enrollment declines do not justify spending cuts. Declines across an entire district do not mean that fewer teachers are needed, they say. It's not as though all of the kids in one class leave.But good administrators can consolidate classrooms if enough students depart. The Derry school budget completed this month should give taxpayers statewide some hope. If Derry can adjust the school budget to coincide with enrollment figures, other districts can too. Unless this event really was a miracle.

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