Burlington Town Meeting passed the school district operating and accommodated account budgets last night. The $36,185,768 represents a 2.6% increase over FY2009 operating budget. This figure is an increase of $377,767 over the $775,000 reduced budget that had been approved by both the School Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. We are grateful for the support of the additional funds.
The $377,767 in additional funding was added because of concessions in next year’s raise from our custodial, secretarial, instructional assistant, and administrative unions as well as all non-union employees. Many Town Meeting members expressed gratitude toward the willingness of these groups to respond to the town in an economic crisis.
The remaining $400,000 (roughly) shortfall is comprised of increases in our transportation contract and the lack of a concession in next year’s raise by the teacher’s union. Closing the shortfall – balancing our budget – will come from further reductions in the budget and reductions in teaching positions. The specific reductions and number of positions will be determined over the next several weeks. If the teacher’s union were to concede during this time, then the budget could be balanced without reducing teaching positions.
Our operating budget is only the first step. We are hopeful that our capital budget articles will be received positively on Wednesday evening. The proposed school district projects all fall within the guidelines established by the Town, the Capital Planning Committee, and the Ways and Means Committee. As a result, all of our projects received strong support from the Ways and Means and the Capital Planning Committees.