By Alex Malm
The School Board, along with the Town’s Budget Committee, got a review of the district’s proposed personnel budget during its Dec. 5 School Board meeting.
“Do we have the right staff for the number of kids we have as well as their needs,” Superintendent, Dan Black, said, explaining that there are a number of factors that go into deciding the personnel budget.
One of the main things they look at is the projected enrollment. Black said they are projecting to have 22 more students next year than this year, however, in some schools they are expecting to have less than this year. The total projection is 4,044 students across the district.
One of the personnel changes they are proposing to make is moving a full time teacher from South School to Matthew Thornton, noting that South School is expected to have a decline in enrollment, while Matthew Thornton is growing in enrollment.
They are also proposing to eliminate one teacher position at North School. Black said from people leaving, and due to retirements, they don’t expect anyone will be laid off, due to the cut.
With a decrease in the projected enrollment at Londonderry Middle School, along with changes expected to be made to the master schedule. The proposed budget calls for cutting two teachers at the middle school for next year, yeilding a savings of $175,776.
“We are very confident that none of these reductions means a reduction in force,” Black said.
Black said they also proposed to cut four full- time teaching positions as part of the proposed budget, which would have savings of $351,554.
Despite the enrolment for the high school expected to be four more students next year over this year, it was noted that they had 71 less students at the high school for this school year than in 2022-2023.
Black said since 2010, they have had 27 teacher reductions at the high school, moving it up to 31, in that time period if they approve the cuts.
As with the other two school levels, they aren’t expecting any lay offs with the cuts due to those leaving or retiring.
The district is also expected to save $29,519 by cutting a tech/library media position in the elementary schools and are expected to save $58,546 by cutting a third shift custodian within the district.
While the district is proposing to make several different cuts, Black noted their personnel costs are expected to go up by just over $1 million, most is from salary increases in collective bargaining agreements.
Black noted that despite inflation being over 3% right now, the proposed budget would only increase personnel costs by 1.54% over this year.