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Frontier supt. proposes 4.84% budget hike

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Superintendent Regina Nash is proposing a 4.84 percent increase to the Frontier Regional School District budget for next year.

Teacher and faculty salaries, professional development for technology and setting up wireless Internet throughout the Frontier Regional School accounts for much of the increase for next school year.

The proposed budget amounts to $9,537,370. That compares to this year’s budget of $9,097,256. The difference is $440,114.

The towns of Deerfield, Whately, Conway and Sunderland make up the Frontier Regional School District. The amount each town would contribute will be determined once the school finds out what it is receiving in state aid. Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed budget is scheduled to be released by Jan. 28.

Major increases include a $264,080, or 2.9 percent, jump in salaries. The increase is due to contractual raises, an additional special education nurse for an incoming seventh-grader and the reinstatement of 13 department heads. The department heads were reduced in last year’s budget. Principal Martha Barrett requests the department heads be reinstated to help with efficiency and management.

The other major increase is $247,937, or 2.73 percent, increase in technology services. The school department wants to bring back the position of technology director to support the schools at a cost of $14,561. The position was originally reduced to part-time. Nash is proposing to make the position full-time again.

Another cost is professional development in technology for teachers at the cost of $5,000. For $23,000, the school department also wants to complete wireless Internet service at Frontier.

There is also a $71,903 decrease in health insurance cost, which has not increased in three years. The school district participates in the Hampshire County Group Insurance Trust. The other major decrease is in special education transportation. It would decrease by $30,800.

The committee will have a tentative vote on the proposed budget on Feb. 12. A public hearing will follow on March 12 at 6 p.m. at the school in time for the four towns’ annual town meetings in the spring.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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