By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Northborough – The Northborough School Committee approved a $24,264,983 budget for FY2019 in mid-February which will be voted on at Northborough’s annual Town Meeting on Monday, April 23.
This budget request represents an increase of $819,966 and is 3.5 percent over FY18. It is level-serviced and maintains current programming that focuses on therapeutic programs and language-based development. Additionally, it supports implementing a device technology model.
The budget process began last fall with a review of budget goals and discussions with the town administrator, principals, school councils, capital and operational planning subcommittees in a collaborative and transparent manner. Once budget targets and capital expenditures are reviewed, then preliminary budget drivers are discussed with the School Committee and a preliminary budget is worked up and presented in January.
Between January and April, the budget undergoes revisions for approval by the School Committee and then presented at a public hearing in March before moving on to Town Meeting in April.
The proposed budget is affected by increased employee costs with a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 2 percent, an increase in costs associated with student support services and enrollment projections.
The proposed budget does take into consideration a proposed increase in facility rental fees, a proposed increase in lunch fees, decreases in enrollment, and maintenance of federal and state grant funding.
The budget expects the following offsets: program shifts in technology and grant-funded positions, increased student placements, and contractual obligations totaling $819,966. Special education costs are abated with $842,317 in circuit breaker reimbursements.
Northborough’s Annual Town Meeting will take place Monday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m., at Algonquin Regional High School. For more information about the proposed school budget, visit www.nsboro.k12.ma.us/pages/Northboro-Southboro.