Londonderry High Budget Comes in Under Current Year

Londonderry High School Principal Jason Parent presented a FY 15 budget that is $46,484 under the FY 14 figure.
Parent told the School Board at its Thursday, Dec. 21 meeting that the budget was expected to be level funded with a flat enrollment projection.
“Most line items have been held at the FY 12, 13 and 14 levels of funding,” he said. The FY 15 budget for the high school is proposed at $539,354.

Current high school enrollment is 1,626 students, with a projected enrollment of 1,611 next year.
“The Londonderry High School budget requests reflect the needs of our school to maintain the quality of services and programs that we provide,” Parent said, adding that in building the budget, officials remained mindful of the state of the economy.
He said the Career and Technical Education (CTE) tuition is the largest budgeted item for the high school, at $210,000. “We previously saw a significant increase in tuition based upon the state shortage of funding,” Parent explained. “Part of the difficulty we’ve had in this particular line is that the tuition invoices and the rates from MST (Manchester School of Technology) and Alvirne (High School in Hudson) are not submitted to Londonderry until late second semester. So, this spring we get the rates and invoices and that forces us to continue to budget based on trends,” Parent said.
Parent said for FY 15, they project 120 students going to MST and Alvirne, with that line item representing 39 percent of the total budget.
“We have requested a German Level 3 textbook to continue with our sequencing this language, as well as an Accounting 1 textbook, which puts a greater value on conceptual understanding and financial statement analysis,” he said of new items in the budget.
Almost all other line items are level funded,” Parent said.
Parent said in the wake of the previous year’s budget reductions, a reorganization of responsibilities and staffing, and declining enrollment, LHS still maintained 11 AP (Advance Placement) courses for the 478 students taking them, nine career pathways and 16 Project Running Start courses that allow students to earn high school and college credits for $150.
“Finally our alternative education programs for students at risk include World Studies, summer school, adult education and a GED testing center, which are all viable options for students beyond a typical school day,” Parent said. “That assures us that we can meet the needs of every single student at our high school.”
Parent said students have the option of selecting courses from over 250 offerings each semester.
“We graduate over 99 percent of our students in our traditional 24-credit diploma,” Parent said. “We believe they are prepared to thrive in college, the military and the workforce.”
“Our online correspondence reaches over 1,600 families and saves over $200 per mailing,” he said of LHS communications.
Budget Committee Chairman Chris Melcher asked if the district would save money if it gave every student an iPad and invested in electronic textbooks.
Superintendent of Schools Nathan Greenberg said what they are finding is that there are some textbooks that appear to be good but there isn’t much competition, so with an iPad, the user can only get textbooks that go with an iPad. Greenberg expects there will come a day when chapters from different books could be selected to create a college-type hybrid textbook, using only material the teacher wanted to use.
He also said that a paper textbook, by the time it is written, approved, bound and sold, is a year or two old, and electronic textbooks could be more up to date. The solution down the road may be to give students an application for their own devices so they could download textbooks.

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