The North Adams School Board approves spending 5.6% more next year. Transport and personnel costs are important factors | North Berkshires
NORTH ADAMS — The city’s school district plans to spend 5.56 percent more than last year, costs that will be covered by an expected increase in state aid, school officials said .
The school board approved its $18.8 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year at a meeting Tuesday night.
North Adams School Committee Proposed Budget
What’s behind the increase
Transit costs are expected to rise 9.6%, said Nancy Rauscher, the school’s director of finance and operations. And Drury High School is adding a specialist teacher, according to Superintendent Barbara Malkas.
Additionally, salary increases are being considered for some administrators, who see bumps amid contract reviews, and raises for staff who have completed contract negotiations, are currently negotiating, or expect to enter negotiations. , Malkas said at the school committee meeting last month. .
There is also an increase in the budget for substitute teachers and staff. For the current school year, $180,600 is budgeted; in the next fiscal year, it is expected to be $270,000. That’s partly because late last year, the school board voted to increase substitute teacher pay from $80 a day to $115 a day to be more competitive with other districts.
The pandemic is also contributing to surge budgets for surrogates, Malkas said, as there is more need for surrogates when staff test positive for COVID-19 or show symptoms.
“There were times when people were told they couldn’t come to work,” she said. “It caused us to have a higher need for surrogates.”
Added a music teacher
One change from the initial budget proposal presented last month: reinstate a music teacher post. There will be a full-time instrumental music teacher distributed across all three elementary schools, a change recently added.
How will he cover the increase?
Chapter 70 funding, the primary way the state funds schools, is expected to increase by about $1 million, or 7.73%, according to Rauscher.
“The increase from chapter 70 is actually more than the amount we need here,” she said Tuesday night. This funding will be sufficient to cover the budget increase of $988,713.
The city council’s finance committee is due to consider the school committee’s budget at a meeting at 5:30 p.m. on May 26 in the council chambers at city hall.