Uxbridge hosts public hearing on Wednesday
School Department’s proposed $22.7M operating budget up for discussion
UXBRIDGE — A public hearing will be held Wednesday, Jan. 16 on the Uxbridge School Department’s proposed $22.7 million school operating budget for fiscal 2020, which represents a 3.5 percent increase over the current budget.
The public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The School Committee will vote on the proposed budget on Feb. 6.
According to School Superintendent Frank Tiano, the budget is a “needs-based budget,” which incorporates all budget requests submitted by school principals following a review by the School Councils. The budget also includes curriculum and professional development needs requested by the curriculum director and student service needs requested by the pupil services director.
“Special education requests
may adjust in the coming months and there may be a decrease in operational spending for maintenance of facilities due to the transfer of the McCloskey School to the town,” Tiano says.
Tiano says the School Committee has directed the administration to prioritize the budget around five goals, including maintaining class size, furthering the district’s longterm goals, enhancing instructional technology, improving websites and digital communications, and expanding teaching and learning professional development.
The proposed $22,713,817 budget represents a general fund appropriation increase of 3.5 percent overall, which includes 4.19 percent increase in salaries ($663,395) and 1.72 percent increase in expenses ($105,319).
Tiano says the budget anticipates approximately $1,781,765 in additional funding to support expenses necessary to operate the schools, including Circuit Breaker, $900,000; athletic fees, $130,000; preschool tuition, $52,000; transportation fees, $70,000; and state and federal grants, $629,765.
The total gross cost of operating the schools is $24,495,582. Minus the above alternate funding sources, the cost of a needsbased general fund appropriation, including transportation, for FY20 is $22,713,817 – an increase of $768,714, or 3.5 percent above FY19.
Tiano say the major variations from the current budget include increases in Special Education Out of District treatment and placement tuition ($48,724); Special Education Out of District transportation ($78,628), Special Education in-district transportation ($105,162); district building maintenance and repairs ($104,173); athletics ($87,480); and salaries for a technology integration specialist, supervisor of students, HVAC specialist, prekindergarten teacher, prekindergarten ABA tech and prekindergarten paraprofessional ($270,032).
Tiano says while it may appear that some personnel are budgeted for a 4 percent salary increase, this is not the case.
“All staff – union and nonunion – received a 2 percent cost of living allowance in FY19 and have been budgeted with a 2 percent increase in FY20 based on recent contractual negotiations with the Uxbridge Teachers Association,” he said. Some staff are entitled to step increases, lane changes based on recent educational accomplishments, and longevity based on years of service. The non-union FY19 2 percent cost of living increase was not listed in each actual salary line items as negotiations did not conclude until after the FY19 budget was presented.”
The School Committee is expected to adopt the proposed budget at its meeting on Feb. 6. The budget will then be presented to annual town meeting voters in May 13.