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Frontier seeks to raise spending almost 3%

SOUTH DEERFIELD — A $9,747,730 school budget for next year is hitting the desks of the finance committees in southern Franklin County.

This week, the Frontier Regional School Committee adopted a final budget, which proposes $282,037 more in spending for next academic year.

The budget is a 2.98 percent increase over the current year.

The school committee held a public hearing on the budget on Tuesday and adopted it with no changes.

The four feeder towns — Conway, Deerfield, Sunderland and Whately — are being asked to pay $407,637 more than this year, which amounts to a 6.19 percent increase in assessments.

Conway’s assessment would increase by $45,689, or 4.53 percent. Deerfield’s share would increase by $192,363, or 6.25 percent. Sunderland’s share would increase by $152,362, or 9.36 percent and Whately by $17,223, or 1.99 percent.

Deerfield request is likely to stir debate since the selectmen wanted all departments to keep their budget increases within 2 percent.

So far, all town departments have met that limit.

Much of the increases are a result of pay hikes, which costs an extra $176,751.

There are 23 teachers, 13 instructional assistants, seven non-instructional staff moving up one step, which results in higher salaries. An additional 13 teachers and nine non-instructional staff are receiving longevity payments.

Non-union staff wages will increase by $6,007.

There are also four teachers retirements who will receive total payments of $70,925.

Last year, no teacher retirements were budgeted.

The budget includes a reduction of one English teacher for $69,514 and one special education teacher for $48,582, which were both made through attrition.

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

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