PAWTUCKET—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 “critical need” to fill long-term vacancy for a district curriculum coordinator.
Read the full story in Thursday's newspaper.