On Wednesday night, the Regional School Committee discussed next year’s budget for Algonquin Regional High School. Superintendent Christine Johnson presented her preliminary figures to the committee.
Southborough Wicked Local covered the meeting. According to the story, the budget calls for an almost 5.6% increase over this year’s budget of $20.09 million:
Preliminary budget figures for the Northborough-Southborough Regional School District call for a spending increase of about $1.1 million next fiscal year, Superintendent Christine Johnson said Wednesday. The boost is driven by fixed contracts, student support services and a move to reduce class sizes.
The budget for the district, which funds Algonquin Regional High School, would rise to about $21.2 million, under an early scenario Johnson laid out at Wednesday’s meeting of the regional school committee. . .
One factor complicating the development of the budget this year is uncertainty about state funding. In recent years, Gov. Deval Patrick presented his budget proposals in January, but newly-elected Gov. Charlie Baker will be granted an additional five weeks to present his recommendations, moving the deadline to March 4.
Baker, who took office earlier this month, is already grappling with an estimated $765 million budget deficit in the current fiscal year. Johnson said school administrators are waiting to see how Baker plans to close the gap, and hoping to see his fiscal 2016 budget as early as possible. . . .
“It just seems to me that 5.58 is a really healthy increase for taxpayers to swallow,” [School Committee member Barbara O’Mara] said. “I’ll be very interested to see how this shakes out. Maybe we should be thinking about things that we would like but maybe can’t afford this year.”
School administrators are expected to finalize their budget proposal by the end of February. The regional school committee is required to vote on the budget and set assessments for Northborough and Southborough by March 1.
For more details, including what the increase would fund, see the full SWL story here.