Northbridge To Present School Budget Totaling $25.2 Million

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An engineering teacher for the Northbridge Middle School is being proposed in the 2014 budget. Photo Credit: File

NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – A preliminary school budget of $25.2 million for fiscal year 2014 will be presented to the Northbridge School Committee at a meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 26.

At a meeting of the Board of Education’s Budget Subcommittee, school district business manager Melissa Walker said about $6 million will be requested from taxpayers at the May 7 spring Town Meeting.

The remainder of the funding would come from Chapter 70 state aid, projected to be $15.2 million this year as well as $1 million in grants and $3 million from the department’s revolver account.

Looking to the fiscal year 2015 budget, Walker said she was worried because the revolver account, made up of athletic and other fees, would be depleted.

“We know we can fund 2014; it’s what happens in 2015’’ that is her concern. “Two years out, I’m guessing we’ll be $68,000 in the hole,’’ she said. That estimate doesn’t include salary increases from negotiations.

“Where do we want to go; Do we build a budget now that carries us through to 2015, or do we budget what we need now?" Walker said.

The proposed budget suggests a few new positions that school administrators and the school board consider important, including an engineering teacher at the middle school.

“Yes, we would like to have that engineering class in the middle school, but don’t want to put in a new position knowing it will have to be cut in ’15,’’ School Superintendent Nancy Spitulnik said.

The subcommittee discussed cutting the budget proposal by about $260,000 by eliminating new positions but chose instead to go ahead with the $25.2 million proposal.

The budget will be presented to the full School Committee on Feb. 26, to the Finance Committee on March 6 and at a public hearing on March 16.

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Comments (3)

Fred C. Dobbs:

It's about time that the schools realize that there is no money out there in this economy. Stop asking for an arm and a gallon of blood! It's time that the town side of our budgets get whats coming to them. We need more highway workers along with additional men on our Police and Fire Departments. It's also very apparent that we will need a Playground Maintenance Department to keep our athletic facilies up to code as there are new regulations coming through on the conditions of our fields. And we need more help with our roads and sidewalks but only better than what was done on Mendon and Quaker Streets. Better quality means longer life!

frog pond:

Budget what you need now, never mind 2015.
Put all you want in there, up front. Let's see it.

stillaranch:

Really? An engineering teacher for the middle school? When I see more kids walking home with books in their hands then maybe, but I don't think we're there yet. Beef up the core curriculum first. Every day I see kids walking out of that school with empty backpacks - or more common, no bag at all, hands empty.

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