$2 Million Hike for Braintree Schools a Starting Point in Budget Process
Contract negotiations between educators and the district are ongoing and will likely change the budget proposal.
A level-service Braintree Public Schools budget for fiscal year 2014 could mean a $2 million increase over this year.
However, several factors may shift that number, most significantly the ongoing contract negotiations between teachers and other school employees and the district. Federal and state funding levels have also yet to be set for the year starting July 1.
The preliminary budget that Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg presented to the School Committee Monday night totalled $53,863,140, up over the current fiscal year by $1,962,894.
That hike includes more than $900,000 for the 367 staff members eligible for step increases and nearly $800,000 in additional funding for special education, but does not include a number for negotiated salary increases.
"This will change over time," Committee Chair Shannon Hume said. "But this is a good first look at it."
Approximately $2 million of the increase in the current year's budget over fiscal year 2012 came from salary and step increases. The $2.4 million overall hike was the district's largest in a decade.
Special education "circuit breaker" funding could reduce spending needs by $100,000, Dr. Kurzberg said. Also not factored into the preliminary budget is any state education money over the current year figure, meaning Braintree could see an additional $1 million or more for the schools depending on how the legislature acts, Mayor Joseph Sullivan said.
"This begins the process," he said.
The draft Dr. Kurzberg presented Monday was the culmination of months of work by his administration and various department heads, who each presented funding priorities to the committee.
Additional priorities for next year include $133,648 for making Braintree High School entirely wireless Internet capable, $160,000 for computer replacements and $495,000 for various positions, such as a technology specialist, high school math and English teachers and three elementary school teachers.