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Sunderland Elementary seeks 2.94% budget increase

The front of Sunderland Elementary School in Sunderland with a blue sky
05/09/27 MacDonald

The front of Sunderland Elementary School in Sunderland with a blue sky STORY 05/09/27 MacDonald

SUNDERLAND —The town could see a 2.94 percent increase in its school budget for the next year.

The Sunderland Elementary School Committee has proposed a $2,146,980 budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which is $61,248 more than the current year’s budget.

There are no personnel or major program cuts in the school budget.

Spending on salaries and operations increased by $100,358.

Pay for teachers and staff increased by $46,387. The cost for instructional aides increased $28,561 due to four new students requiring aides.

The cost for special education teachers would increase $44,355. Physical therapy services increase $5,939 due to increased services in individualized education plans.

Other increases include $2,550 for professional development stipends, $13,500 for evaluations due to an increase in required support services in students’ individualized education plans, $6,050 in building maintenance, and $8,210 in transportation.

Three teachers are retiring, requiring $83,290 for payment of owed wages for things like unused vacation or sick time. The school committee, however, is submitting the one-time retirement costs on a separate town warrant to be voted at town meeting on April 25 at the request of the town.

The operating budget includes a $26,346 decrease in kindergarten teacher salaries, where some of the costs will be shifted to School Choice funding. Teacher salaries would decrease by $40,008 due to the retirement of two teachers.

Other decreases include $15,000 in heating. Last year, the school underspent the heating account by 53 percent because of a new computerized energy management system and mild winter weather. Summer transportation will decrease by $3,500. Special education transportation will decrease by $20,000.

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