GILFORD — The school district will ask residents to approve a $24.6 million budget that will include a 2.5 percent retention fund for emergencies.
The budget is up $512,540, or 2.2 percent, from last year's amount, according to Scott Isabelle, assistant superintendent for business at the school district.
The school board's recommended budget calls for $24,662,210, while the budget committee recommends $24,610,710, Isabelle said.Most of the difference comes from a budget committee cut of $22,500 that had been planned for replacement of carpets in a computer lab, Isabelle said.The budget increase is in part due to a new teacher contract for the district.The third warrant article that will come before voters in March, after "housekeeping" articles, is for a new three-year contract proposal from the teachers union and the school district that calls for 1.5 percent cost-of-living and step increases during each year, he said.The proposal is supported by both the budget committee and the school board.
The cost of the contract is $111,798 for the first year, $257,911 for the second year and $260,323 for the third year.
The fourth article asks the district for authorization, if the teacher contract article is defeated, for a special meeting on cost items on the contract.
The fifth article asks the district to "authorize, indefinitely until rescinded," the retention of unassigned general funds at the year's end of 2.5 percent of the current fiscal year's net assessment.
The reason for the article is to have "funds on hand to use as a revenue source for emergency expenditures and over-expenditures … or to be used as a revenue source to reduce the tax rate."