The Groton Board of Education on Tuesday approved a $73.66 million budget for the coming fiscal year, a 1.4 percent increase over this year’s spending.
Board Members Rita Volkmann and Shelley Gardner voted against.
“It’s too much of an increase for our town,” Volkmann said. Even though she said she suggested adding items back in, she would have made cuts elsewhere.
Board Member Chaz Zezulka said he never thought the board would cut the budget as much as it did.
“In these times, in this day and age, that is miraculous,” Zezulka said.
The cuts included 25 percent of the district’s paraprofessionals, more than a dozen teachers, and transportation for students who choose magnet schools outside of Groton.
“In a budget year like this, we’ve got to take care of the kids that are staying here and gong to our schools,” Board Member Bob Peruzzotti said.
The budget goes to the Town Council next, then to Representative Town Meeting.
Budget cuts made by the school board include:
- $707,000 for paraprofessionals. Cut represents 50 to 60 paraprofessionals out of a total staff of about 190.
- $500,000 for purchased services across the budget. Depending on the department, this may include field trips, travel for instruction, equipment repairs or other items.
- $150,000 for the athletic and activity budget at the high school and middle schools, including supplies.
- $90,000 for a portion of the elementary music program (cut would affect the strings program).
- $180,000 for two middle school French teachers.
- $90,000 for a middle school computer teacher.
- $540,000 for high school teachers. Cut would reduce one teacher each in math, science, health, technology, world language and English.
- $90,000 for a high school counselor.
- $20,000 for field trips (a 20 percent cut).
- $200,000 for supplies (a 20 percent cut).
- $100,000 for out of district transportation (for students that choose to attend magnet schools elsewhere).
- $138,396 for ipads for seventh graders.
- $100,000 for three special education tutors.
- $100,000 for central office support.
- $160,000 for custodial services.
- $32,000 for secretarial services.