Adams Selectmen Approve School BudgetBy Andy McKeever
08:42PM / Wednesday, April 11, 2012
ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen approved Wednesday the $3.9 million assessment for the Adams Cheshire Regional School District.
Superintendent Alfred Skrocki gave a short introduction before School Committee Paul Butler led the Board of Selectmen through the budget.
The assessment is up by .6 percent — or $23,889 — that includes $109,925 for the new Hoosac Valley High School, which is excluded from the town's levy limit.
According to Superintendent Alfred Skrocki, the district faced challenges in overcoming a loss of about $500,000 in grant money, a 56 percent increase in transportation costs and an increase of about $155,000 to support students going to Berkshire Arts and Technology.
However, the district did see savings in health insurance, maintenance and is using some school choice funds to offset the increases. Additionally, Adams' total payment was offset by a $409,154 credit from the state School Building Authority.
Selectwoman Paula Melville questioned the amount the town is paying above the minimum foundation assessment set by the state, which is $638,100. Skrocki said that the minimum assessment is based on a formula that did not take inflation into account.
"That number is a minimum amount that school districts need to spend each year," Skrocki said. "The formulas have not adjusted for inflation."
A better comparison is in per pupil spending, he said, which is below state and county averages. The district spends $12,002 per student compared to the county average of $14,587 and the state average of $13,371.
Additionally, the town is funding the foundation budget at 109 percent compared to 133 percent average countywide and 120 average across the state.
"Three hundred and nine out of 317 [school districts] that reported were above foundation level," Skrocki said.
The school's total budget is $18 million.