Proposed School Department Budget Would Increase By 3.6 Percent

Contractual obligations, fixed costs and high school maintenance are the big ticket items.

"Level-Funding" and "Level-Staffing" were the buzzwords, as Business Manager Jeff Sands unveiled the proposed School Department Budget for Fiscal Year 2014.

Sands outlined the budget in a Powerpoint presentation to the Tewksbury School Committee on Jan. 23. The proposed bottom line of $46.5 million represents an increase of 3.6 percent ($1.6 million) over FY 2013. However, the operating budget of $36.6 million represents an increase of just 2.5 percent ($880,764) over FY13.

Sands said he has been working closely with Town Manager Richard Montuori over the last few weeks and his proposed budget is roughly $218,000 over the amount slotted for the school department by Montuori in the overall town budget.

"That difference of $218,000 is exactly equal to the increased maintenance costs associated with the new high school," said Sands, adding that there are several possibilities he and Montouri are exploring to bring those two numbers into alignment.

In addition to the high school building maintenance, an eight percent jump in the cost of health insurance and contractual salary increases represented the "big-ticket" items Sands has had to work around in putting the budget together.

Sands told the school committee that the budget carries no new positions and level funds services at FY 2013 levels.

"It's really too early to make any predictions," said School Committee Chairperson Krissy Polimeno. "Jeff has done a really remarkable job of getting close the actuals."

Polimeno said the district is still waiting to get the final assessment associated with Tewksbury students attending Shawsheen Tech, as well as the final assessment from the Merrimack Education Collaborative for special education students.






Dave January 30, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Will this increase be the same if they rebuild other schools also? I hear they want a new Trahan school and a new North St. school also. That would be a huge increase in our tax base. 3.6% is alot of money.
bk January 30, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Both Trahan and Heath Brook is in need for a face lift. --BK
Becca Bell January 30, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Does this mean our already higher than average taxes are going up AGAIN???
Dan January 30, 2013 at 03:39 PM
How about seniors who can do the job, and get a tax break doing some of the jobs??? Who got the jobs last year??? Would it save money???
John Stadtman January 31, 2013 at 02:11 AM
I am sure the $218k is a conservative number and will likely increase next year this time. I cannot believe that no one allowed for a budgetary increase during the planning stages. This cannot suprise anyone. Bigger building = larger bills. Yes, there are certain efficiencies, but you cannot always bank on those until you have a few seasons under your belt.


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