Sunday, September 21, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;75.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/skc.png;2014-09-21 18:09:23
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Nashua Board of Education approves additional $60,000 in cuts to 2015 budget

The Nashua Board of Education satisfied the city aldermen’s revised 2015 education budget Monday by approving an additional $60,000 in cuts. Members reached the $60,000 target by combining the reduction of a vacant teaching position at $45,815, $10,000 from the furniture budget, and $4,185 from the computer technology budget. All three reductions were proposed to the board in one motion, which passed by a 5-3 vote.

Board member Robert Hallowell made the motion to remove one high school teaching position for $45,815. Member David Murotake said he did not want to remove any teaching positions because of the upcoming Smarter Balance Assessment tests. “Our teachers have a lot of work ahead of them,” Murotake said. “It seems not a wise thing for us to be reducing teaching staff at all,” he said. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

The Nashua Board of Education satisfied the city aldermen’s revised 2015 education budget Monday by approving an additional $60,000 in cuts. Members reached the $60,000 target by combining the reduction of a vacant teaching position at $45,815, $10,000 from the furniture budget, and $4,185 from the computer technology budget. All three reductions were proposed to the board in one motion, which passed by a 5-3 vote.

Board member Robert Hallowell made the motion to remove one high school teaching position for $45,815. Member David Murotake said he did not want to remove any teaching positions because of the upcoming Smarter Balance Assessment tests. “Our teachers have a lot of work ahead of them,” Murotake said. “It seems not a wise thing for us to be reducing teaching staff at all,” he said.

“I feel like we’ve got to the point where we can’t cut any further,” said board member Steven Haas.

Board member George Farrington reiterated that the position is currently vacant.

“For now, given where we are, I am willing to support this motion,” he said.

Board member Kimberly Muise asked how many students would not get an academic class they needed because of the cut.

Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Seusing said it was a difficult question to answer because students were able to file primary and alternate course requests when creating their schedules. But, she said, the success rate for students getting into their primary courses was about the same as last year, “if not better.”

After voting to reduce the teaching position, the board still needed to find an additional $14,185 to cut. Superintendent Mark Conrad recommended looking at the furniture budget. Muise said there is a real need in the district to replace furniture.

“If they need it, they’ll have nowhere to go,” she said.

Daniel Donovan, head of the city’s business services department, said there is $60,000-$65,000 in the furniture budget this year. Farrington recommended dividing the cut between computer technology at $10,000, and the furniture budget for $4,185 to “share the pain.”

Donovan said the computer purchases to accommodate the Smarter Balanced Assessment have already been made, so the proposed cut would not affect it. Murotake asked for details on what the cut would affect, but Conrad said they would have to come back with specifics. The total computer and technology budget is over $1 million, according to Donovan.

The other cut on the table was a part-time data analyst position for $35,000, which members opted not to reduce.

“I think we need at least a half-time person at $35,000. I think there’s a lot of data the board needs to look at, that individual schools need to look at,” said Muise.

Hass said the extra help analyzing data would assist the board in making more informed decisions in the future.

“The budget that this board approved a couple of months ago was $100,748,192, which was a 3.37 increase over last year,” said Donovan.

The original budget went through the mayor and city aldermen prior to coming before the school board Monday.

Mayor Donnalee Lozeau had recommended cutting the school board’s proposed budget by $160,000. The Board of Aldermen, which sets the bottom line for the school budget, declined to cut that deeply, however, and reduced the figure by $60,000.

Tina Forbes can be reached at 594-6402 or tforbes@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Forbes on Twitter (@Telegraph_TinaF).