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Letter

The math behind ConVal’s budget

To the editor:

Someone told me the other day that the ConVal School Board has done great things this year, and to some degree I agree. However the new gross budget does not reflect any dramatic cost reductions. In my opinion the total gross budget should have been reduced.

Let me explain. Gross cost per student for the year 2014 is $18,847. The gross cost per student in 2004 was $10,985, or an increase of $7,862. That’s a 83 percent increase.

Enrollment in year 2004 was 3,094 and now is 2,300, a drop of 794, or a 26 percent change.

Using year 2004’s gross cost per student of $10,984 times the current enrollment of 2,300 is $25,263,200.

The gross budget for 2013-2014 of $43,348,000 minus the cost of above equals $18,084,800.

How come? The gross budget is reflective of all 1,500 budget line items. The gross budget has dropped about $3 million since 2007 while enrollment has decreased by 645 students.

In summary, assuming the average teacher cost is $70,000 for salary and benefits, the value of the difference is about the pay of 40 teachers.

Using history shows the trend. As enrollment drops, gross cost per student increases. The figures tell it like it has been. The new budget proposal’s gross cost is almost identical to what it was in the last few years. The surplus monies generated by fewer students is lost in the shuffle.

Fran Chapman

Peterborough

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