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Goffstown voters have lots to consider with schools

Union Leader Correspondent

March 10. 2014 9:26PM

GOFFSTOWN — The School Board’s recommended $37,692,224 operating budget, two teacher contracts and a new AREA agreement with New Boston will go to voters today.

Voting takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Bartlett Elementary for District 5 voters and Goffstown High schools for District 1.

The proposed budget is $1,076,133 more than last year, reflecting a 2.93 percent increase or 88 cents per $1,000 property valuation, for a projected tax impact of about $220 on a $250,000 home. The school board’s proposed budget would mean an anticipated tax rate of $14.58. The projected local tax for the $37,292,833 default budget would be $14.28, if the operating budget does not pass.

If approved, the operating budget would support programs for the 2,850 students in the district.

The budget includes a secretary position, increasing the library media specialist from part time to full time, one special education teacher and increasing summer hours for the custodian at Bartlett Elementary School; hiring an eighth-grade teacher, adding two part-time library assistants and providing a late school bus at Mountain View Middle School; and increasing summer hours for an educational assistant; and installing new exterior locks at Maple Avenue School.

In addition, the board is proposing a technology update because of the increase in device usage, and allocations for textbooks, library books and supplies.

The cost per student in Goffstown is $11,476 and the average annual teacher salary of $52,406 is below the state average of $54,314.

“The Goffstown School District continues to provide a solid education to the students of the community at a cost that is approximately $2,000 less than the state average,” said School Board Chairman Dian McCarthy.

Superintendent Brian Balke said a teachers’ contract has not been brought to voters in eight years and three years for the support staff contract.

Warrant 3 is asking voters to approve a two-year agreement with Goffstown Education Association, including increases in salaries and benefits of $528,091 in 2014-15, and $394,596 for 2015-16. The first year of the contract would have no tax impact because the district will use the 2.5 percent contingency fund, and insurance premiums from Local Government Center overpayments made in 2010 and 2011 for employee health insurance.

Warrant 4 relates to the three-year collective bargaining contract with support staff, which includes an estimated increase in salary and benefits of $117,299 in 2014-15. The first year of this contract will also have no tax impact because of the 2.5 percent contingency fund, and Local Government Center overpayments. The contract also calls for $214,176 in raises for 2015-16 and $246,687 in 2016-17.

Warrant 5 is the new 10-year AREA agreement with New Boston, which will provide a tuition revenue of $5.6 million, effective through June 30, 2024.

sclark@newstote.comCandidates for school board are Jenelle Anne O’Brien, Heather Trzepacz and Steve Dutton. They are running for the three, three-year seats.

Politics Schools Goffstown

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