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DEEP RIVER- The Deep River Elementary School Board of Education is seeking a $5.56 million budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The request represents a 2.97 percent increase, or $160,371, when compared with the present budget.
The school board unanimously approved its proposed budget at a March 20 meeting and then met the next evening, March 21, with the boards of Selectmen and Finance to present it. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ruth Levy said the request meets the needs of students and allows the school to acquire the necessary technology to meet the state's common course standards, which are requirements for all school districts.
As is true with the other elementary schools in the district, next year's budget is benefitting from a decline in student enrollment. From 2011-2012 to the present year, enrollment declined by 10 students. A greater decline in student numbers is expected for the next school year. This has led the school board to reduce staff by one classroom teacher in 2013-2014. The result is a savings of $46,907.
There are increases within the budget proposal. The largest is a $99,818 increase, or 1.85 percent, for salaries, including originally unbudgeted salaries that were added in the present year's budget because of special education needs. There is also a $40,162 increase necessary for special education outplacement costs.
Additional increases include: $29,375 for the Deep River board's share of costs from the already-approved Supervision District budget; $15,122 for health benefits due to higher enrollment in the health plan; $7,198 contribution to the town pension plan; and $10,000 for the cafeteria subsidy. New equipment requested in the budget includes a wheelchair for the health office, two xylophones to replace existing one that are described as "old and in disrepair," 23 iPads with cases and charging stations, sets of text books, and conference room chairs.
There are reductions in addition to the reduction of a classroom teaching position. Other reductions included $11,871 for equipment, $3,300 in contributions to annuities, and $6,140 in heating oil costs.
The proposed 2013-2014 school year budget is:
Employee benefits $1,000,714
Technical services $ 181,262
Services $ 225,224
Other services $ 406,648
Supplies $ 274,217
Property $ 5,030
Other $ 5,236
Additional services $ 27,227