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Derry’s proposed school budget drops by $81,000

DERRY — The Derry Cooperative School District’s proposed budget for next year is approximately $79.3 million, a decrease of about $81,000 compared to this year’s budget.

The figures for the 2014-15 budget are based only on a draft and are subject to change, said Jane Simard, the district’s business manager, on Tuesday.

A draft of the budget was presented to the School Board and Fiscal Advisory Committee during a meeting earlier this month, Simard said.

“We’ve only had one meeting so far, and we gave them a general overview,” she said.

In developing the budget, administrators are responding to projected enrollment figures at district schools. To meet the changing demands of schools, plans call for adding a reading specialist and hiring a fifth-grade teacher at Grinnell Elementary. At the same time, a teaching position at South Range Elementary and East Derry Memorial Elementary School would be eliminated from each school.

The proposal to eliminate the two teaching positions doesn’t necessarily mean that the jobs will be cut but that the departures could be because of retirement, Simard added.

Based on a PowerPoint presentation Simard recently gave to school officials, no staff changes would be made at Derry Village Elementary School. At Ernest P. Barka Elementary School, two teaching positions would be eliminated from first and fourth grades and added to third and fifth grades, according to the presentation. By moving the teachers, the school district would not need to hire new ones to replace them, Simard said.

There are no new positions requested and no positions requested to be cut based on current projected enrollment at West Running Brook and Gilbert H. Hood middles schools.Other proposed changes in the draft of the budget show that salaries would be increasing from $26,620,200 for this year to $26,704,744 in 2014-15, representing an increase of $84,544.

Also in the draft of the budget, Debt/Dues would drop by $495,018, from $2,528,503 this year to $2,033,484 for 2014-15.

In addition, out-of-district tuition would decrease by $5,000 from $2,745,000 this year to $2,740,000 for 2014-15.

All budgetary items requested for the 2014-2015 proposed budget support the Strategic Plan Goals as adopted by the Derry Cooperative School Board. The goals are: to have all students in K-12 learning at a high level; to provide a safe, positive school environment that promotes learning and well-being; and to increase community involvement.

A series of meetings by the committee on the proposed budget are scheduled through next month and into December.

The next meeting of the Fiscal Advisory Committee is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the library of Gilbert H. Hood Middle School.

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