Uxbridge hosts pub­lic hear­ing on Wed­nes­day

School Depart­ment’s pro­posed $22.7M op­er­at­ing bud­get up for dis­cus­sion

Woonsocket Call - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSEPH FITZGER­ALD jfitzger­[email protected]­et­call.com

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.

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