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Supt. proposes modest increase to Union 38 budgets

State requirements down to two

Superintendent Regina Nash is proposing modest increases to each of the southern Franklin County elementary school budgets for next year.

As usual, Deerfield Elementary School has the largest proposed budget increase. Deerfield Elementary could see a $134,167 or 3.31 percent budget increase. Its proposed budget amounts to $4,194,859. That compares to $4,060,692 this year.

Sunderland Elementary could see a $34,446 or 1.68 percent increase between this year and next year. The proposed school budget is $2,085,732 compared to this year’s $2,051,286.

Conway Grammar School could see a $44,263 or 2.76 budget increase. Its budget could go from $1,602,225 this year to $1,646,488 next year.

Whately Elementary is faced with a $21,173 or 1.42 percent budget increase. The proposed budget for next year is $1,517,126, compared to $1,495,953 budget this year.

A major change for the southern Franklin County schools, including Frontier Regional School, is the proposal to make the shared part-time technology director into a full-time position. The proposal is a result of a year-long study conducted last year, according to Patricia Cavanaugh, business manager.

Deerfield Elementary would contribute $13,643. Sunderland Elementary School would contribute $5,991. Conway Elementary School would contribute $5,427. Whately Elementary School would contribute $5,379.

Costs would increase district-wide to support technology professional development for teachers as well.

“If we have teachers without professional development, what good would it do? Professional development supports teachers and technology in the classroom,” Cavanaugh said. Technology professional development would be ongoing and continue into future years as a result of the constant changes in technology.

Deerfield would pay $5,000 for professional development. Whately, Conway and Sunderland would each contribute $3,000 toward professional development.

The elementary schools would see major decreases in special education costs because some special education students are moving on to Frontier Regional School. The Whately Elementary School budget has a $14,890 decrease. Conway Elementary School has a decrease of $8,158.

As for Frontier Regional School, Nash has proposed a 4.84 percent increase to next year’s budget. The proposed budget amounts to $9,537,370. That compares to this year’s budget of $9,097,256. The difference is $440,114. Much of the increase is due to teacher and faculty raises, the full-time technology director salary, professional development for technology and setting up wireless Internet throughout the Frontier Regional School. Technology services will amount to $247,937. Frontier would pay $14,561 for the technology director.

The final budgets are still subject to change. Each elementary school committee will hold a public hearing before making a final vote. The approved budgets will then move forward for a vote at the annual town meetings. The Whately Elementary School Committee will hold its public hearing and final vote on March 4. Sunderland will holds its public hearing and vote on Feb. 5. Conway will hold a public hearing on Feb. 14 and a final vote on March 21. Deerfield will hold its public hearing on Feb. 6 and vote on it on March 6.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
kmckiernan@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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