Published DateBELMONT — The Shaker Regional School Board plans to present a $20.8 million budget for the 2013-2014 school year, an increase of 0.54 percent over current spending, according to the district's business administrator.
Deb Thompson said Thursday evening that the total proposed budget, minus the one special money-related warrant article, was $20,874,009. The one special warrant article that calls for an appropriation is a request for $50,000 to be placed in a buildings and grounds trust fund.
Voters will have an opportunity to comment and ask questions about the budget and other warrant articles at two public hearings scheduled for early next month. The first will be on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m., in the Belmont Middle School. The second will take place the following evening, also at 6 p.m. at Canterbury Elementary School. The School Board is scheduled to convene a meeting following the Canterbury hearing to vote to place the budget on the warrant for the Shaker School District Meeting on March 8.
Thompson said that the proposed budget includes an increase of $408,130 for employee health insurance, and an increase of $330,136 for the state-run teachers' retirement system. Another increase is $64,819 to cover the increase in pay and benefits for members of the teachers' union. In addition, the budget includes a proposed 1 percent pay increase for non-union school district employees, at a cost of $37,130.
Thompson explained that offsetting these increases is that fact that the district has now paid off the debt on the construction of Belmont High School, a savings of $512,000, an anticipated decrease of $100,380 for special education, and a savings of $155,309 personnel costs which she said will be achieved through combination of attrition and the elimination of one position.
NOTE: Shaker District Buildings and Ground Director Doug Ellis said plans are in the works to increase the level of security in the district's four schools.
He told the school board that within four to six weeks he hoped to install new security doors with remote activated locks to control access and along with surveillance cameras. Ellis estimated it would cost $18,000 to upgrade the principal entrances at Belmont and Canterbury elementary schools, Belmont Middle School and Belmont High. He said money to pay for the security upgrades would come partly from funds in the district's maintenance budget, and part from savings in energy costs. Superintendent Maria Dreyer told the board that school district administrators and school principals recently met with representatives of the Belmont and Canterbury police departments and the Belmont Fire Department to discuss security issues. "We are looking at ways we can be safer," she said.