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LETTER: Responsibility for the Shrewsbury School Budget

'The proposed 2014 Shrewsbury school budget has a $4,000,000 deficit.' Planned increases in salaries amount to about $3,000,000.'

Submitted by Benjamin W. Tartaglia, Sr. town meeting member, precinct 6, Shrewsbury

If you watched the Shrewsbury public hearing on the school administration’s proposed $52,000,000 budget for FY2014, you might have noticed two characteristics of the hearing. First, the meeting was sparsely attended compared to previous years. The poor attendance may indicate taxpayers, (including parents of school children), are weary of the School Administration’s annual appeal for unrealistic and unsustainable funding. The second was, only one point of view was voiced, namely, to support the proposed budget, even if it meant attempting a prop 2-1/2 override. Proposals allowing the school administration to live within its means were noticeable by their absence.

The proposed 2014 Shrewsbury school budget has a $4,000,000 deficit. Planned increases in salaries amount to about $3,000,000. In FY2013, teachers’ raises included increases of 4 percent, 7 percent and even 12 percent.

These increases are part of the contract between the Teachers’ Union and the school administration as approved by the school committee. The administration is negotiating a new Teachers’ Union contract. Hopefully, the new contract will reflect realistic and sustainable personnel costs. A contract that ignores financial realities will exacerbate the situation. An unsustainable contract will cause more
reductions in staff, lead to even larger class sizes and a less effective education for the children.

Those who have criticized the selectmen through letter-writing campaigns may want to write to the school committee and the administration demanding out-of- the-box solutions to our educational funding challenge. It is their responsibility.

Erin Ryan March 04, 2013 at 06:12 PM
According to my review of the budget Mr. Tartaglia's comments are inaccurate. Salary increases for current staff are approximately $634,000. The other reason for an increase in the Salary line item in the budget is the addition of teachers to start reducing class size and to support the needs of the Special education students.
Ron king March 05, 2013 at 01:08 AM
Ouch, estimate just went up for SPED by $500,000...just today...and one over grossly out of district kid will cost $60,000 (1 yr) for tuition and transportation for one student to attend Norfolk Agricultural High School in Walpole. This family has some real soul searching to do, I am sure they know the cost to the town, and had alternatives much closer to home explained to them.
Ron king March 05, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Come and speak your mind! Board of Selectmen Public Hearing on FY 2014 Budget Published: March 05, 2013 The Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 7:30 PM to hear citizen comments on the FY 2014 operating and captial budgets.

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