Frontier Regional School Committee agrees to cut town assessments by $40,000
DEERFIELD — The Frontier Regional School Committee has agreed to reduce member town assessments by $40,000 for next year’s school budget.
The committee is tapping a surplus fund for $140,000 to allow the reduced assessments. The individual assessments have not yet been determined by Frontier’s business manager, Patricia Cavanaugh.
The committee originally had proposed taking $100,000 from the surplus fund, but added the extra $40,000 this week.
The Frontier Regional School Committee has approved a $9,855,695 budget for next year. The budget will go before the townspeople in the four towns — Deerfield, Whately, Sunderland and Conway — in the spring for final adoption.
The proposed town assessments were to increase by $525,869, or 8.53 percent, until town officials complained that they couldn’t cover the costs.
The Deerfield Select Board, in particular, raised concerns, citing a structural deficit of $479,000. Deerfield blamed Frontier and the town’s elementary school on $451,349 of the deficit before the assessments were adjusted.
The budget increased $466,861, or 4.97 percent, from the current school year. Out of that, bus transportation accounts for $310,607.
The school district still anticipates $2,744,045 in Chapter 70 state aid, a boost of $14,375 over the current year.
Major increases include $14,561 for a technology director to be shared among the regional school and its four feeder elementary schools, $5,000 for technology professional development for teachers, and $23,000 to complete the school’s wireless connectivity.
Faculty changes would be a boost in a writing position to full-time for $20,093 and the return of 13 department heads for $32,942.