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Schools request $2.4 million budget increase

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  April 12, 2012 02:04 PM

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Braintree Public Schools have trimmed their proposed budget for next school year, but
officials said there will be no reduction in service.

Originally, the school had asked for a $52.3 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1, a $3.1 million increase from this year. But that request was cut to $51.6 million, since
the town budget has only an additional $2.4 million to spare for the schools.

Even with a tighter budget, services will remain the same, assured Superintendent Peter Kurzberg

“We’ll be able to maintain the same programs next year as we’re having this year,” Kurzberg said. “There are a couple of positions that we’ve put on hold right now that are retirements that we’re still hoping to be able to fill, and those are the house master, who is retiring at Braintree High, along with an administrative assistant.

"Those positions aren’t included in the budget. Our hope is that we will be able to find a way to secure additional funds either through savings we can realize or possibly through funds that might come from the town.”

According to Kurzberg, there are still a number of variables in play in terms of local aid, which could enable the school to increase funds later on in the budget deliberations.

“In the past two years, we’ve been able to add and bring back some positions that were basically on hold as we got closer to the summer and the town had a firmer picture of available resources,” Kuzberg said.

In addition to temporarily cutting two positions being vacated by retirements, Kurzberg said the town will use the remaining $22,000 within the Job Grant for salaries this year, bringing that budget item from $510,000 to approximately $487,000.

The $200,000 in added textbook costs has been worked within the existing budget, and the town has also taken out $20,400 in salaries for energy managers.

Additionally, some teachers who said they were going for step increases by earning additional credits decided not to, taking $20,000 in increased salaries from the budget.

Kurzberg also said although the town didn’t have as much money to put towards the school budget as initially hoped, the increase from the current budget – the largest since 2002 - is still generous.

“During a time of difficult economy, I think we’re very fortunate to be able to have this amount of money available,” Kurzberg said. “While we still have some needs, this is clearly a generous increase for us.”

The budget has been submitted to the mayor and will be submitted to the Town Council on May 1. From there, the council will hold public hearings on the budget, which is usually approved by June.

For a breakdown of the increases, click here.

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