The Southborough K-8 School Committee had planned on reviewing an initial budget at their meeting last week, but they pushed it off a month saying the numbers are still in flux.
School Committee member Marybeth Strickland said many numbers, like how much state and federal aid the school will (or won’t) get, are still unknown. Add to that the fact that the district is renegotiating its contract with the teachers’ union, and Strickland said it’s too early to know how the budget will play out.
“It’s a very difficult year for us,” she said at last week’s school committee meeting.
Superintendent Charles Gobron said the town as asked for a level-services budget, so he doesn’t anticipate reductions in staff. Last year’s budget eliminated six teaching positions and more than three support positions. One of the teaching positions was restored because more staff retired at the end of the year than anticipated.
Last year the schools got some unexpected funding for special education in the form of federal stimulus money, which helped offset significant state cuts to special education. But Gobron warned the school committee that the federal money would end in June.
Gobron said the fiscal year 2012 budget would likely include a “modest increase” in the cost of full day kindergarten at Finn from $2,500 to $2,750 annually. He said the increase would net the schools an additional $25K.
The school committee said they would vote on a preliminary budget at their meeting next month. They are also scheduled to present the budget to selectmen in January.
For more details on the school budget picture, check out this slide deck.