Anne Watson, the superintendent, presented to the Winchester School District her revised proposed budget for school year 205 until 2016. The meeting was held with the Board of Selectmen and it focuses mainly on the district’s plan regarding its finances for the next school year.
Watson’s first proposition was revealed last Monday and there was a decrease compared to her latest proposed budget which is at $23,272,974. The reduction was an amount of $546,862 and is blamed on the recent retirement as well as the exclusion of duplicate employees.
Despite the recommendation given by the Board of Selectmen for the coming school year which is $19.9 million, Watson’s proposal has a $3.3 million gap. The said recommended amount has been the same for three consecutive years.
The budget that was recently presented will take $2 million from grants while the remaining $1.3 million are proposed spending without fixed funding yet.
According to Hugo Pinzon, the Interim Business Manager, the state will be the one deciding the exact amount for the grants therefore they have the right to cut the budget or worse decide that the district will no longer be receiving anymore grants.
Watson has also revealed his plan in hiring a coordinator for the Alternative Program who will be responsible in designing and implementing the appropriate educational programs for the right type of students they see as fit benefactor of the program. The Gilbert School will also be having an ESS program which is geared on helping students overcome challengers either emotionally or behaviorally. The upcoming school year also plans on welcoming a new school psychologist who will be located at the Pearson Middle School.
Other expenditures for the proposed budget were also questioned by the selectmen as well as the town residents such as the transportation allowance of the students in special education, the funding for the conferences to be attended by the school administrators and the funding for the program geared on the gifted and talented. Watson admitted that all of these were not included in the proposed budget last year.
Watson also revealed that the issue has not been decided yet and there might still be some changes in the future.