Preliminary K-8 school budget to be presented tonight

Taxpayers will get their first look at next year’s K-8 school budget tonight. Superintendent Charles Gobron is expected to present preliminary numbers at this evening’s school committee meeting.

In a presentation last month, Gobron said the district faces fiscal challenges this year with the loss of more than $200K in one-time federal stimulus money. It’s money that currently funds one special education teacher and five support positions.

Gobron said some or all of the one-time money could be covered by an anticipated increase in state funding, but the extent was yet to be determined.

To increase revenue, Gobron said the district was considering raising the cost of full-day kindergarten. Northborough’s proposed budget for next year has a $250 increase in kindergarten tuition, bringing it from $2,750 to $3,000. Tuition at Finn is currently $2,750.

On the other side of the equation, operational expenses are expected to increase this year. In addition to a contractual salary increase for teachers and other staff, Gobron told the school committee last month that funds will be needed to keep pace with the current educational needs of the district.

Gobron said an increasing number of students come into the district with English language learning needs, and $33K in additional teacher and tutor time is necessary to meet the needs of those students.

The district’s computer network infrastructure is currently managed by a contractor, but Gobron said next year he’d like to bring the work in-house by hiring a district-wide network administrator. It’s a move he said would bring more efficiency and long-term savings. Funding for the position would be shared with Northborough, with Southborough’s portion (30%) totaling $19K.

Gobron said the funds for English language learning and a network administrator are the only new requests that will be in the budget. The rest will be to fund existing services.

“A lot of what we’re taliking about in our budget is simply trying to maintain what we have,” School Committee Chairperson Marybeth Strickland said.

Tonight’s school committee meeting starts at 6:30 pm in the library at Trottier Middle School and is open to the public. You can see the full agenda here.

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11 years ago

According to the paperwork I received last week for my son – who is entering Finn in the Fall – the tuition has already been set at $3,000 for next year.

11 years ago

That fee is actually very low as well. My wife operates pre school and their tuition is close to $4000. And I dont beleive it is kindergarten, we pay for a 1/2 day which is sufficient unless one is looking for day care as well – that is your choice but my belief is we should charge what the district states it costs to educate a child each year. That fee should go much higher with the cost of per pupil education at $14,000 per student in the dstrict. We are actually losing money even though the district states “we make money”, crazy sort of analysis. Also, as far as english teaching to new students. I really dont think that is a necessary teachers spot. Many believe in education, it is a part of multiculturalism support. All should learn to speak english (and most motivated families learn very very fast) as well as they can and as fast as they can but I dont think we owe it to anyone to teach the english language. Lastly, as far as bringing the Information Technology postion into the “union” fold, please someone say no. Outsourcing this is far more efficient and cost effective. Why in God’s name do we need so many copmuters anyway. We all have them. Our kids need to know the sciences and maths much better to compete. We can not hire skilled aboriginal americns at our company so we have to go outside the country. The candidates that come to us actually have college degrees but can not even perform rudimentary algebraic equations. And, you/We already have to pay for a 7% raise for teachers which I dont believe they should have recieved in this environment and with the teachers present overall benefits package and 3/4 year contract to work (I think it is a great deal for those who CHOOSE it). And also a 3% raise for the superintendent has to be paid for. To be fair and balanced, I believe he earns every penny. Now to close, I would be all for pay raises if the unioins were out, and merit increases were put in place. Bad teachers would be elleviated, pay would go up due to competition, and the lever of education to our children would sky-rocket becasue better performers would be drawn to teaching and there would be more competition to EARN those valued positions. You better teachers would make much more money at the end of the day as well.

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