DRES Budget Draft Shows Small Decrease

DEEP RIVER - The Deep River Elementary School budget proposal, presently still a draft, shows a slim decrease in expenditures for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. At present, the Board of Education proposal calls for a budget of $5,489,197 million, a decrease of $21,961 or just 0.4 percent. This represents the first decrease in the elementary school budget in several years.

One reason for the budget decrease is declining student enrollment. This year the school has 330 students, 17 fewer students (a 4.9 percent drop) than the year before, and 27 fewer than the 2011-2012. Projections show a continued drop in numbers to 314 students for the 2014-2015 school year.

The budget draft reflects reductions in staffing in line with student enrollment numbers. There is a reduction of one classroom teacher at a budget reduction of $48,005, a figure that includes unemployment costs. There is also a reduction of two para-educator positions recommended in the 2014-2015 budget. This saves $40,728, according to the board's budget documents, and again, the savings expected includes unemployment costs.

There are increases in salaries based on contractual obligations, including negotiated increases for teachers and administrators. These increases total $52,427. There is a special education out of district placement at $58,699, and an increase in the elementary school board's share of the district's supervision district at $49,034.

Other major budget reductions include a phase-out of the district's early retirement program at a savings of $32,867, enrollment changes in health care coverage at a savings of $7,313, a reduction in supplies and textbooks at a savings of $36,514, and a reduction in equipment at a savings of $19,047.

For the present 2013-2014 fiscal year, the Board of Education requested a $5.56 million budget, which represented a 2.97 percent increase. The budget included the reduction of one classroom teacher. For the previous fiscal year, 2012-2013, the school board requested a four percent increase in its budget. That budget included implementation of all-day kindergarten at the elementary school, which was accomplished without any additional staff requested.

The 2014-2015 fiscal year budget as presently proposed is:

Salaries $3,374,701

Employee benefits $979,765

Professional, technical services $173,208

Purchased property services $226,645

Other services $472,907

Supplies $247,795

Property $3,000

Other $5,154

Additional services $6,022

Total $5,489,197

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