At their most recent meeting, the school committee heard a presentation from business manager Susan Nauman and Superintendent Benedict Tantillo on the Fiscal Year 2015 preliminary operating budget.
The presentation opened with a comparison of Duxbury’s per student expenditures against the state average per student expenditure. In 2007, Duxbury’s per student expenditure was just over $9,000, compared to the almost $12,000 statewide average. In 2012, Duxbury’s per student expenditures increased to $11,825, compared to the state average of $13,636.
Looking forward at FY15, the district’s goals aim to follow the five-year strategic plan, provide appropriate staffing, invest in technology and maintain a good learning environment. Three main components drive the development of the budget: programs, personnel and operations. Potential risks to the budget include unforeseen start-up issues at the new school, funding cuts, regulatory requirements and a significant increase in town population.
An important factor in creating the FY2015 budget is the teacher to student ratio. Particular emphasis is placed on the ratio at Chandler and Alden, where Nauman said stud- ies show the ratio has the most impact on student learning. In 2010, the ratio was 19.9 and in 2013 it is 19.5. Projections for 2014 and 2015 are 21.8 and 20.9, respectively.
“We attribute this increase to the shift in population,” Nauman said. “More families with younger children are moving into the area and that will increase the classroom size a bit.”
2015 essential staffing requests include a Mandarin teacher at the middle school, a math teacher for the high school and a science teacher at the high school. The essential staffing breaks down into five categories for expenditures, including DHS teaching staff ($120,000), increases in daily rates for substitute teachers ($20,000), a mandarin teacher ($20,000), academic merit ($7,000) and guidance department ($11,000) for a total of $178,000.
Major categories for con- tractual expenditures and classroom needs include copier leases ($27,700), technology department equipment ($5,278), guidance department ACT assessment ($3,675), ro- botics registration competition fee ($10,000), classroom supplies ($9,000) and textbooks ($25,254) for a total of $80,907.
With a $1,263,742 increase over the FY2014 budget total, the FY2015 budget request will be $32,397,200.