By Alex Malm
The proposed FY24 budget was presented to the School Board at their Nov. 22 meeting.
Interim Superintendent, Dan Black, said the point of the meeting was to turn the budget over to the School Board and the public for their review. They have two weeks to review it before their first budget hearing.
“Tonight we hand it over to you all,” said Black.
The overall proposed budget was $85,436,043.
“Our main goal is to continue to fund a school system that has a strong academic program that provides a clear path to be career and college ready, while also providing a rich and balanced co-curricular program that allows our students to blossom outside the classroom as well,” Black said in the proposed budget address. “Providing this opportunity for a well-rounded student is at the heart of what the Londonderry School District does for our community.”
Black stated this year they worked hard to limit the amount of growth in the budget.
“There were a lot of tough decisions we made,” said Black.
In this year’s proposed budget, the increase compared to FY 23 would be $1,274,746, after having an increase of $2,663,841 in FY 23. The proposed increase is 1.51%.
The increase would be the lowest in at least five budget cycles.
“While we work towards this goal every year, we intend to produce budgets that limit the amount their growth year to year while also minimizing the differential between the proposed operating budget and the default budget,” said Black.
With most budgets, the biggest cost overall is the personnel. In this year’s proposed budget, salaries make up 52% of the budget and benefits make up 30% of the budget.
One of the changes made was reducing the number of full time employees from the high school by three due to a projected decrease in enrollment at the school by 60 students.
It was explained that by doing so they will be able to allocate those funds elsewhere.
One of those positions will be an Elementary School Curriculum Coordinator.
“We funded this position with ESSER funding this school year and it has already proved highly valuable to support staff and coordinate the continued changes to our math curriculum and upcoming changes to our literacy curriculum,” The proposed budget reads. “We have this position at the middle school and high school now. This position ensures staff and elementary administrators get the support and focus needed in our curriculum areas.”
It was also pointed out that due to the increase in students’ devices it means that they need more IT support. The proposal is to add a new IT position.
Overall, with all the personnel moves being proposed, the school district would save $37,660.
Black said the entire personnel budget would be discussed in detail during their Dec. 6 meeting. On Dec. 13 they will hear from all the schools, and on Dec. 20 they will hear from the rest of the departments.
This year’s deliberative session is slated to take place on Feb. 10.