Last night the school committee made progress on closing the $900,000 gap between the proposed FY2011 budget and the guideline budget.
The reductions are as follows:
Projected retirements with restrictions on the experience of replacement hires – $250,000
Elementary Italian Program – $150,000
Custodial Position – $43,000
Clerical Position – $34,000
Moving from Contracted to In-house Trades – $18,000
The subtotal for these reductions/changes is $495,000 leaving a balance of $405,000.
The proposed positions in the FY2011 budget stem from growth in enrollment (grade 5 FW), student need (ESL and 0.5 Reading), or restoring a lost position from last year (guidance FH). As in the past, the school asked that these needs, driven by uncontrollable factors, be considered outside of the established guideline. This past practice pushed the proposed FY2011 budget up to 2.75% from 2.5% (or roughly $85,000) – leaving $320,000 to reduce.
The school committee charged the administration to find the remaining $320,000 reductions from salary. This solution was recommended because other non-salary lines have been level funded the last two years and we want the reductions to be sustainable into FY2012. Every indication from the Ways and Means Committee is that annual guidelines will continue to be about half of where they have been set the last ten years.
We will be working over the next week to identify different ways of reducing salaries by $320,000. Obviously the options will come down to a salary concession or positions. The public hearing on the school budget will be on Tuesday, April 13, at 7:30 PM in the school committee room.