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Goffstown School Board addresses budget needs

GOFFSTOWN — The School Board has addressed proposed budget needs, approved the formation of an AREA Planning Committee to accommodate New Boston students, and signed an agreement with Dunbarton.

The board held a Deliberative Session special meeting on Oct. 30. The six-minute meeting at Goffstown High School was attended by about 15 people, with no public comments.

“Because the town of Dunbarton has voted to educate their students in Bow and will no longer be part of the Goffstown district, the Goffstown and New Boston school boards must create a new AREA agreement without Dunbarton,” said Chairman Dian McCarthy. “In order to do that, the Goffstown and New Boston voters must vote to create another planning committee.”

The second session of the special meeting of the Goffstown School District will be held Wednesday, Dec. 4, to vote on the approval of the planning committee by official ballot.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Goffstown High School and at Bartlett Elementary School.

Proposed budget

The Goffstown School Board’s 2014-15 budget was discussed at the Oct. 30 and Nov. 4 meetings, in preparation for presenting the proposal to the Budget Committee on Nov. 6.

The School Board’s proposed budget is $37.7 million, and the default budget amounts to $37.4 million. The difference of $300,000 includes adding safety items at the schools, including security cameras, panic devices, interior door locks and exterior doors — with the work to be done this year; and $211,000 for part-time staff and paraprofessionals at the elementary schools.

The board also added money for teacher and student supplies, field trips, new text books and late buses for Mountain View and the high school.

Ray Labore, district business administrator, brought up the tuition calculation, which assumed that half of the Dunbarton enrollment would attend Goffstown High School.

“It appears that only children in grades 10, 11 and 12 will attend Goffstown High School next year,” said Labore at the Oct. 30 meeting. “As our collection ability goes down, it becomes more expensive for Goffstown and more expensive for New Boston.”

The net impact in the 2014-15 budget is estimated at $803,000, and New Boston may be forced to pay a higher share to support operation of the middle and high schools, he said.

The Budget Committee is scheduled to review the School Board’s proposed budget on Thursday, Nov. 14 and 21, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

Dunbarton agreement

At the Nov. 4 meeting, the board also approved a memo of understanding with the Dunbarton School Board.

McCarthy said Dunbarton only wanted to include 10th-, 11th-, and 12th-graders and not their middle school siblings, and specifically asked that Dunbarton not be under obligation to provide transportation for its students. McKinnon suggested that Goffstown consider sharing the cost of transportation at future meetings.

According to the results of the Dunbarton preference survey, 85 students out of the 97 Dunbarton families polled said they will attend Goffstown High School next year, four will go to Bow High School, three had no response, one was unsure, one will be older than 18 by Dec. 1, and one student has transferred out of the district.

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