Derry School District Budget Awaits Voters March 11

The Derry Cooperative School District budget for 2014-15 withstood several challenges at the Feb. 8 School District meeting, and will go to the voters on March 11.

The proposed budget is $80,539,895. It was reduced by $277,000, from $80,817,146, after the numbers came in from adding Hooksett students to Pinkerton Academy. The Hooksett freshmen who have chosen the Derry semi-private high school total more than 100, reducing tuition from $504.34 to $363.66, a difference of $140.68 per student. The default budget is $80,873,541.

The amended budget is a 3-cent per $1,000 decrease on the tax rate and a 1.72 percent decrease from last year’s approved budget.

Highlights of the budget include a net reduction of 4.2 staff positions, based on enrollment. The district hopes to add a middle school library assistant, reinstate the position of Assistant Director of Student Services, and fully fund a fifth-grade teacher for Grinnell Elementary School, added last fall. The position was funded for one year from $800,000 that was voted back into last year’s budget.

Two School Board seats are open. Members Dan McKenna and Wendy Smith are running unopposed.

Polling places are the Pinkerton Academy Gym, Districts 1 and 3; Calvary Bible Church, District 2; and Gilbert H. Hood Middle School, District 4. Voting hours are Tuesday, March 11, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The state Voter Identification Law mandates that each person wanting to vote must have a photo ID or fill out an affidavit as a “challenged” voter. Affidavits are available on the town Web site under the Supervisors of the Checklist and also at the polls. Registration can also be done at the Town Clerk’s office Mondays, Tuesdays Thursdays and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Absentee ballots are available at the Town Clerk’s office and on the town Web site at