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School administrators deliver reduced budget

December 07, 2011
Members of the Budget Committee met with Gilford School District administrators during their meeting Thursday, Dec. 1 to look over the 2012 school budget, which is down 1.1 percent from last year.

Superintendent Kent Hemingway, who just began his sixth month in the position, addressed budget committee members with a summary of the budget approved by the School Board, which included about $300,000 worth of cuts from last year's budget.

According to Hemingway, some personnel cuts were made; however, administrators were limited in this area in terms of options because they needed to maintain the mandated student-teacher ratios.

Following the selectmen's lead, Hemingway said the school district chose not to replace vacant positions where possible, and eliminated 6.8 full-time employees.

According to Hemingway, reductions would not affect any existing programs, and the schools will continue to provide students with all the same services as in previous years. He reported that the Gilford Education Association negations were at an impasse, and that both sides agreed to seek outside mediation.

To ease the burden on the budget, Hemingway noted that, for the second year, there would be no salary increase for school administration and support staff; he added that last year, there was a budgeted two percent increase which was never granted. Also, School Board members would not receive a stipend.

According to Hemingway, the budget did not include the much needed boiler to replace the 20-year-old boiler at the high school, which failed last year. The system was repaired., but Hemingway said they would need to replace it some time in the future.

Buget Committee members will continue to meet with SAU members until the final public hearings and votes on the School and Town budgets, scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 5.

Klumb Environmenta;
Varney Smith
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