Mascenic puts off addressing budget reductions due to COVID-19 

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/18/2020 2:42:04 PM

Work to reduce the district’s budget proposal has been put off for the foreseeable future, as the School Board will not be meeting for the next several weeks.

Monday was to be the first meeting for the Mascenic School Board since the district budget failed at the polls on March 10. The failure of the proposed budget means the district will be operating under the default budget – last year’s budget adjusted for contracted increases and minus one-time expenses. The default budget is about $400,000 less than the district’s proposed budget.

The district’s proposed budget was proposed $19.37 million. The default is $18.96 million.

Last week, prior to the closing of schools, Mascenic Superintendent Chris Martin said she had already begun the process of meeting with the school’s administrators and had asked them to review their budgets and make recommendations for cuts with the least possible impact on students. Winnowing the proposed budget would have been one of the orders of business taken up Monday, but the meeting was canceled late in the day on Monday.

By law, the district must report its final budget lines to the department of revenue within 20 days of voting, which for Mascenic is March 30. However, the district may simply report the reduction in a particular line item, and make the final decisions about where those reductions will come from at a later date.

When that business will be taken up again is in the air, Martin said. Coordinating virtual learning and establishing protocols for food package pickups have taken priority. Updates for those issues and other items related to the shutting down of the district’s three schools due to COVID-19 are being updated on the district website nearly daily.

“We’re going to get there, and we need to discuss the budget, because those are the long-term responsibilities of the district. We just have to deal with our short-term responsibilities first,” Martin said.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.




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