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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hollis School District voters OK budget

HOLLIS – Voters at the Hollis School District Meeting approved everything on the ballot Monday night, including a $9.84 million operating budget .

Voters also approved a fact finder’s recommendation for a new teachers contract. The School Board and the Hollis Education Association, the teachers union for the town’s two elementary schools, have been negotiating for two years without success, which is why a fact finder was requested.

The report included recommendations for a 2 percent pay hike for each of two years, caps on health insurance payments, and disciplinary procedures. The report estimates the recommendations would cost an extra $218,899 for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

There was some uncertainty at the meeting about whether the vote is binding on the School Board, but school officials said the approval of the fact finder’s report does not require the board to go along with the recommendations, although it does make it possible for the district to spend the extra money if a contract is reached.

Other items approved on the warrant included an extra $290,000 for the school maintenance fund, and $371,000 for the district’s portion of the budget for the School Administrative Unit, which also covers the Brookline School District and the Hollis/Brookline district.