Superintendent Proposes Higher School Budget
By: James Kinsella
Barnstable Superintendent of Schools, Mary Czajkowski, has proposed a school district budget for the coming fiscal year that is almost one million dollars, or 1.58 percent, higher than the current budget.
The new budget would total $58,085,365, which is $903,140 over the current budget.
Dr.. Czajkowski called it, “a level service budget with targeted program enhancements.
”She said the proposed budget is designed to maintain current class size and programs, retain positions needed to support the district’s core mission, and to maintain the current level of services.
The budget includes the addition of six full-time positions to assist with autistic students at $209,000, the addition of a director of assessment and evaluation at $95,000, and the addition of elementary school math coaches totaling 2 1/2 positions at $133,403.
A behavior intervention specialist would be added to Barnstable Intermediate School at $56,806.
Other operational and contractual changes would add $771,834 to the budget.
The proposed budget also includes reductions from this year’s budget, including an anticipated reduction in out-of-district tuition by $150,251 and the elimination of a full-time position of a teacher to the deaf at $73,447, since the student being instructed is graduating.
R. Patrick Murphy, chairman of the school committee, called on the superintendent to provide additional information in the budget presentation, as well as presenting the budget in a school-by-school breakout.
He also asked Dr. Czajkowski to provide totals of full-time-equivalent positions going back several years, as well as going forward several years.
As for the pending budget, Mr. Murphy said, “I don’t think the total full-time-equivalent number should increase by 10, given our overall student population is not increasing.”
Dr. Czajkowski said she realizes the school district cannot continue to add full-time positions.
She was prepared to make cuts to get some of the new features proposed in the budget, features such as the elementary school math coaches or the addition of a course at Barnstable High School in Mandarin Chinese.
“We’re not going over the top with it,” she said. “This is a conservative way to go.”
Contributing to the proposed budget for the coming year would be a $55,900,835 appropriation from the town, $1,349,308 in state special education funding, $440,222 in school choice revenue and $225,000 in transportation fees.
A further discussion of the proposed budget is slated for the next school committee meeting at 7 PM Tuesday, February 28, in the town hall hearing room.
The public hearing on the proposed budget is set for the school committee meeting scheduled for 7 PM March 13 in the town hall hearing room.
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