South Hadley school budget would increase by 1.6 percent to $20.2 million

Last modified: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
SOUTH HADLEY — The nearly $20.2 million school budget proposed by Superintendent Nicholas Young would increase by 1.6 percent in the fiscal year beginning July 1 and include money for added special education expenses and new French and social studies textbooks.

Young presented a $20,167,881 budget to the School Committee on Tuesday, which is up by about $317,000 from this year.

Also Tuesday, School Committee member Dale Carey, of Pine Hill Road, announced his resignation effective immediately. He did not give a reason.

The proposed budget includes about $61,000 more for three additional students in the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment program, a partnership with Holyoke Community College for people with developmental disabilities.

The budget also includes more money for ninth-grade sports to replace fundraising by students and parents, Young said.

The budget also includes an increase in maintenance costs, such as the cost of adding a new layer of mulch to the elementary school playgrounds, Young said.

School Committee Chairman Kevin McAllister pointed out that the school will take on some maintenance costs that in past years were paid for by the town.

The budget also reflects the elimination of over 20 positions in teaching, support staff, and administration left vacant during the current fiscal year, Young said.

The committee will vote on the budget after a public hearing at 6 p.m. March 25 in the South Hadley High School Library.

In other business, the committee voted to accept 15 new courses for the 2014-2015 school year proposed by South Hadley High School principal Diana Bonneville and guidance counselor Sara Vatore. These include honors-level Spanish 5 and French 5, which would provide an option for students who want to continue studying a foreign language in their senior year without the rigors of the advanced placement classes, explained Vatore.

Student representative Caley Newton, a junior at the high school, said this is a good option for students who prefer not to have to take a large number of advanced placement tests at the end of senior year.

Other new courses include a second year of honors journalism, a second year of digital photography, a new arts and culture class, and an honors-level forensic science class for seniors.