The 2013-14 school budget was approved unanimously by the Board of Education Wednesday. The final figure comes to $$29,693,964 and represents a zero increase from this year’s budget.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Graner described the budget as “something to be proud about.”
The zero-increase budget maintains class size to around 20 students to a teacher and does not make any reductions in programs or extracurricular activities, nor does it require teacher layoffs, although six teachers did opt to retire by the end of the year.
“The huge news that will really revolutionize this district is the beginning of an all-day kindergarten we’ve been talking about for years and years.”
The spending plan includes the addition of all-day kindergarten program, which actually created a cost savings by eliminating mid-day bus routes.
“I am confident we can achieve all the benefits we mentioned and provide the taxpayers with a zero increase budget.”
Board member and finance committee chair Thomas Malone described the five- to six-month process as “painstaking.”
“Everybody has put in a chip to make this work,” he said of the various groups who worked together to keep education costs down. “I wouldn’t expect the same good luck next year.”