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PAWTUCKETâ€”While acknowledging it will undergo changes in the coming months, the School Committee unanimously approved a new School Department budget of approximately $107 million for the upcoming fiscal year at its committee meeting on Tuesday.
The spending plan for fiscal year 2014-2015 is about $4.1 million higher than the current year's budget of almost $103 million. According to a budget summary by the School Department's Chief Financial Officer Melissa Devine, the amount is based on anticipated state aid of almost $75 million, a city appropriation of $30 million (maintenance of effort) and other anticipated revenue of $1.9 million. She noted the fiscal year 2015 budget is in the fourth year of the new state funding formula which includes an increase for Pawtucket schools of approximately $3.4 million.
Devine also said the pension projected by the state Retirement System has impacted the budget by an approximate increase of 1.15 percent for certified staff and 1.72 percent for non-certified staff. She also said she included an increase in medical insurance costs of about 1.5 percent while dental insurance remains at current levels.
In her summary, Devine said a review of the budget forecast for FY15 included a re-purposing of positions funded through the federal Race to the Top grant, enrollment data which reveals overages in population at the city's elementary schools and the â€ścritical needâ€ť to fill long-term vacancy for a district curriculum coordinator.
Read the full story in Thursday's newspaper.