Adams-Cheshire School Committee Approves $18M BudgetBy Andy McKeever
04:00AM / Tuesday, March 27, 2012
UPDATED On March 26, 2012 at 10:30 p.m.
ADAMS, Mass. — An $18 million budget was unanimously approved by the School Committee on Monday night.
The School Committee approved the proposed $18 million budget Monday night.
The Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee held a 30-minute public hearing on the budget prior to its regular meeting. After a brief overview, only one resident had any questions.
Selectwoman Paula Melville questioned the committee on the numbers and asked about the differences between the town's assessment and what the state recommends for minimum spending. The state says the town should contribute at least $3,074,740 toward the school's foundation budget, according to Melville, but the total assessment (without transportation and capital costs) is $3,712,840.
"People in Adams should know the dollar amount above what we're required to pay," Melville said.
Superintendent Alfred Skrocki replied that a line item budget will be available to the Selectmen.
The budget presentation is below.
Orignal Story posted on Friday, March 09, 2012 at 4 a.m.
ADAMS, Mass. — A 2.1 percent increase is being eyed for next year's school budget.
Superintendent Alfred Skrocki said the total budget is increasing by about 2.1 percent.
Superintendent Alfred Skrocki began presenting his proposed $18 million budget to the Adams-Cheshire Regional School committee on Wednesday.
The total budget is up by $363,867 and the spending plan shifts capital investment dollars toward instructional.
The budget will raise Cheshire's assessment by 4.7 percent and Adams' by .6 percent. Some of that increase is debt for renovations at Hoosac Valley High School that is excluded from Proposition 2 1/2. About 2.5 percent will count against Cheshire's tax levy and the amount against Adams' levy will decrease.
The biggest change in the budget is with capital improvements. The Adams-Cheshire Regional School District is paid up on its construction project at CT Plunkett Elementary School but the state still has a final reimbursement payment of about $400,000, which will be added to the budget this year.
Additionally, with a new school, the maintenance line is also decreasing. Those funds will be put toward instructional items, which includes keeping two teachers and seven paraprofessionals no longer being funded by grant dollars.
The school will be adding three new positions — a middle school vice principal, middle school guidance counselor and a middle school special education teacher.
"Quite frankly, we've had a gap in those areas for some years now," Skrocki said. "There is going to be a lot on our plate in the next few years."
The total staffing will not change because three teaching positions will be reduced, he said.
Other budget highlights include a 9.3 percent increase in spending for special education, 8.5 percent increase in instructional support and a 2.1 percent increase in regular instruction. The schools are losing about $500,000 in federal grant money that is being picked up either by being added to budget or in reductions. School officials are also expecting an increase in transportation costs as they negotiate a new busing contract.
An outline of the budget is available below.
Adams Cheshire Regional School District Budget Proposal 2012