No members of the public asked questions or provided comments during a Dorchester District Two budget public input meeting April 8.
The first budget workshop for DD2 was March 24 and since then, although slight changes have been made to some of the estimated numbers, the district is still facing a tight budget for the 2014-2015 school year.
On April 8, DD2 held its first of two public input meetings for the budget. The meeting was held at Fort Dorchester High School, and mainly attended by DD2 officials.
Total revenue was originally estimated at $166,670,853 – $4 million more than this current year’s revised budget. Now the district is anticipating $165,240,205.
Meanwhile the proposed total expenditures originally came out to be $167,616,063 and is now estimated to be at $166,491,063. Ergo there is now $1,250,858 in expenditures over revenues.
The estimated budget has been prepared and presented by Director of Business Services Allyson Duke.
“Currently we are still under-funded,” she informed meeting attendees.
The district is anticipating a larger staff for the next school year and is still holding out on adding more teachers to accommodate the expected 500 students that are coming in the fall. Should funds become available DD2 would also like eight additional school resource officers in elementary schools, plus assistant principals at Alston and Rollings Middle Schools and three middle school guidance counselors.
DD2 would also like a one percent increase in teacher salaries, which would accumulate to $900,000 total, as well as a one percent step for all other employees to equal two percent given to teachers – $300,000.
More funds would also help eliminate 15 percent deduction in retiree salaries – 46 retirees – $535,000. DD2 also wants an increase in non-certified substitute rate by $10 per day, which would accumulate to $300,000.
The district wants to purchase three additional activity buses, which would be $240,00 and purchase additional buses for daily routes.
Other salary increases would include stipends to become competitive with other school districts.
Superintendent Joe Pye is particularly interested in getting a five percent increase in cost in the district’s contract with Durham Transportation, saying he would not mind a workshop on that itself.
“We have a lot of inquiries about that, a lot of concerns,” he said.
Another public input meeting is scheduled for April 22.