Originally published in The Weekly Packet, February 20, 2014
Brooksville School budget up, programs down
by Anne Berleant
When warrant articles are presented at town meeting on March 4, voters will be presented with a $1,789,902 school budget. That is a 2.67 percent or $46,582 increase over this year, yet some programs have been reduced.
“We didn’t want to cut any programs,” Charles Tarr, chairman of the school board, said before the board voted in January to approve the budget.
Instead, the library program has been reduced from 20 to seven hours a week, one 60-percent teacher position has been cut and three ed. tech. positions are eliminated—two of them because the special education director told the board they were no longer needed.
The 40-percent foreign language program remains, although whether a candidate will be found to fill the two-day-a-week position is unknown. Previously, the school was unsuccessful in finding a candidate, but after combining the position with a 60-percent teacher position, the school hired Brian Adams this year. That is the same teaching position now cut from the budget. The board plans for a new teaching principal to take over that position.
Also included in the budget is $15,000 towards purchasing a new school bus, to add to the $50,000 in a reserve account for that purpose.
Notable increases are in the legal services line and in teacher health insurance and retirement contributions, the latter mandated by the state. Reducing programs has kept the elementary instruction line close to what voters approved last year.
Voting: Monday, March 3, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., town house
Warrant articles: Tuesday, March 4, 7 p.m., Brooksville Elementary School