By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Residents will get another look at the school district’s budget for next year at the annual deliberative session on Saturday, Feb. 2.
The annual school meeting begins at 10 a.m. in the West Running Brook Middle School gym.
Voters will have a chance to amend any budget numbers or warrant articles at the meeting.
School officials are presenting a proposed $78.6 million operating budget number for the 2013-2014 school year, an increase of 1.65 percent over the current school year budget.
By adding in the district’s self-funded food service and other federal programs, the final budget number is $81 million.
The budget includes a staff reduction of 7.5 positions, due to less money coming to the district from the state to cover retirement costs and health insurance costs.
Derry could receive $2 million less from the state in adequacy funding and to cover the retirement/health care costs.
Student enrollment numbers are also down, which factored into Derry’s budget number.
Pinkerton Academy tuition went up by $276.70 per student. Pinkerton’s enrollment numbers are also expected to drop by about 123 students.
Derry currently sends more than 2,100 students to the Derry high school.
District business administrator Jane Simard said the budget was analyzed line by line to see where the savings could be made.
School Board members and the volunteer fiscal advisory committee met for several months to hone the budget numbers and keep them as frugal as possible.
“We looked at every line item to make cuts or increases wherever they need to be,” Simard said.
Some staff positions will go away due to retirement, Simard said. Other open positions will not be filled.
Residents will hear more details about the budget at the deliberative session and will be able to vote to make amendments or changes to the numbers.
Final voting is done at the polls on March 12.