Jaffrey-Rindge school board prepares warrant articles for budget hearing

  • Jaffrey-Rindge School Board chair Laurel McKenzie and vice chair Charlie Eicher discuss warrant articles during Monday's meeting. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 6:35PM

The Jaffrey-Rindge School Board will propose an operating budget of $25,385,854, down $11,746 or .05-percent of last year’s approved budget.

Notable reductions proposed include the elimination of a principal at the middle/high school, two custodians, a librarian, special education position, and guidance counselor. 

Notable budget additions include a preschool/elementary coordinator, a school/home coordinator, and a fulltime social worker/family therapist. There will also be .5 FTE additions to the ELO coordinator and high school music teacher positions. 

The default budget is currently listed in the draft warrant articles as $25,851,720. 

The board met Monday to discuss warrant articles ahead of Thursday’s (tonight’s) budget hearing, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at Conant High School.

The most notable article would change the district’s apportionment formula by eliminating property value from the equation. Currently the formula is a 50/50 mix of each town’s property value and average student count. 

Another article will make changes to the district’s articles of agreement. The changes made are updating the document, which has been in place for a number of years. 

Discussion ensued about this article, with board members asking if certain parts could be rewritten for clarity. Business Administrator Carrie Broderick said she would work with legal counsel on changes. 

There will be two warrant articles on the ballot that will only be funded if the district has a surplus: $150,000 to be placed in a capital reserve account for reconstruction and repair projects and $100,000 to be placed in a special education contingency fund. 

Voters will also be asked to approve the collective bargaining district between the district and the Jaffrey-Rindge Support Staff Association (JRSSA). The two-year deal carries an increase of $74,178 in the first year and $60,786 in the second. 

After taking public comment, the board will finalize the warrant for deliberative session and make recommendations for each article. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.