New teachers in proposed Bedford school budgetBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
December 11. 2017 8:41PM
BEDFORD — School officials are in the process of reviewing Superintendent Chip McGee’s proposed $74.6 million budget, which includes the potential hiring of several new teachers.
“The preliminary budget represents weeks of research, deliberations and discussions between central office administration, school department administration and staff,” McGee said in his written budget summary to the school board. “It targets resources for ongoing curriculum initiatives, technology investment and priority capital projects. It also contains adjustments to staffing based on projected enrollment and budget priorities.”
McGee’s proposed spending plan includes the hiring of a full-time science teacher, full-time math teacher and part-time computer science teacher at Bedford High School.
It also recommends a part-time academic support teacher at Lurgio Middle School, along with two coaching stipends for newly proposed girls’ and boys’ lacrosse teams at Lurgio Middle School.
McGee is also suggesting that a new academic support teacher be hired at McKelvie Intermediate School, and the addition of an extra first-grade teacher at Riddle Brook Elementary School if enrollment projections are on target for next year.
His proposed fiscal year 2019 budget of $74,672,732 is up from the current budget of $72,040,115.
“We have presented the budget as we think it should be next year — that is preliminary. Now the board needs to make its set of decisions,” McGee told the school board last week. “You have a lot of information here.”
If approved by the school board without any amendments and adopted by voters in March, the school portion of the tax rate will increase from $13.48 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $15.68. However, school officials stressed that the actual tax rate in fiscal year 2018 decreased by $2.45 per $1,000 of assessed valuation because of a one-time adequacy payment from the state for $4.3 million due to proceeds from a lawsuit.
Other changes in the proposed budget include the recommended hiring of a school psychologist at Lurgio Middle School, a part-time custodian, a part-time English Language Learner teacher and $10,000 to run two late buses at the high school.
McGee is also supporting a proposal to continue the implementation of world language at McKelvie, but instead of providing instruction in one language for one year and another language the second year, the school would instead offer students two years of instruction in the same language — either French or Spanish.
Starting this week, the board is expected to further study and possibly amend his proposed spending plan. There are three tiers of potential budget reductions if the board opts to cut the administration’s budget.
Items such as library furniture, a theater projection system, the switch from iPads to Chromebooks in first and second grade, parking lot overlay work, field improvements and more is included in the list of possible budget reductions.