After months of working on the budget for FY18, the Budget Committee and School board have both voted to recommend an operating budget for the 2017/2018 school year of $12,572,927. This represents a reduction of approximately $50,000 from the current year budget. In this budget the School Board has made no recommendation for reduction of staff. The School Board and Administration worked very hard to meet the needs of the school and best serve the students, while being sensitive to the financial needs of other Town offices and the tax pressure to residents. The default budget is set at $12,554,143.

In addition to the operating budget, there are a few warrant articles for voter consideration. One is for the building maintenance trust fund and one is for the tuition trust fund. Both of these are funded by the unexpended fund balance on June 30, 2017 and carry no new tax impact. Both of these warrant articles are also reoccurring from previous years.

The teacher’s contract is also on the ballot this year. This is a very important contract to have passed for several reasons. This collective bargaining agreement will offer the following flexibility to the District:

• Gaining 5 additional minutes of instructional time to each day
• Adding 2 additional days to the teaching year (teacher conference day and professional development day)
• Modifying duties (streamlining bus and lunch coverage for example)
• Adding 5 additional teacher meetings in year one and 13 more in year two (allowing for more collaboration)
• Adding a mentoring program

The teachers will receive a pay increase of 2.5% in year one and 1.75% in year two. This will help bring salaries more current for the NH pay scale, help attract and retain teachers, and better align with Sanborn. Concessions in health insurance plans will offset these cost items and yield savings for the District! If the CBA is not approved, the health savings will not be realized and costs will remain at the present higher level.

The following positions are open for the school district and will be on School District Warrant Article 1, please consider running:

One School Board Member (3 Year Term)
One Moderator (1 Year Term)
One Clerk (1 Year Term)
One Treasurer (1 Year Term)

A Public Hearing was held on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 for both the town and school budgets. This can be viewed in rebroadcast on FCTV 22. Upcoming dates:

February 4, 2017 - School Deliberative Session, 9:00am, at Ellis School Gymnasium
(This is the meeting where amendments to the budget, either increases or decreases, can be moved. Motions for amendment pass or fail based on the majority of voting residents at the meeting. This is a very important meeting to attend!)

March 14, 2017 – Voting Day, Polls Open from 7am to 8pm, at Ellis School Gymnasium
(This is the final vote, conducted by private ballot, which determines the operating budgets for both the Town and School, as well as individual warrant articles for FY18. The tax rate is set on the results of this voting.)

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