School District Budget Comes In with 1.37 Percent Decrease

The Derry Cooperative School District will present a 2014-15 budget of $80,817,146.18 to voters in a January public hearing and February deliberative session.
The final budget number was determined in a joint meeting of the School Board and Fiscal Advisory Committee Monday, Dec. 16.

The final budget is $1,086,544.36 less than last year’s approved $81,903,690 and $33,645.99 under the default budget of $81,150,792. The total impact is a 1.37 percent decrease over last year’s approved number, according to School District Business Administrator Jane Simard.
Simard said the tax impact depends on how much she is able to return from the Unexpended Fund Balance to offset taxes. If she is able to return $3 million, it will be 26 cents on the tax rate; if she is able to return $3.5 million, it will be 5 cents on the tax rate.
Simard said some of the savings came from a workforce reduction of two regular education teachers, two special education teachers and two special education assistants, Simard said. The reductions were made due to a decrease in student enrollment. The positions will most likely be eliminated by attrition, she said.
Simard said that $2.5 million of the budget is federal programs and Food Service, which will be offset by revenues.
The $504 per student tuition increase at Pinkerton Academy should not have an effect on the Derry budget, Simard added, because Derry has 99 fewer students going to the semi-private high school. Because of the enrollment drop, the Pinkerton regular education line item in the Derry budget is $40,097.67 less than last year, while the special education line is $359,268.50 less.
A public hearing on the budget will be held Jan. 21, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. in the West Running Brook Middle School. The deliberative session will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, at 10 a.m., also in West Running Brook.