By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY— Pinkerton Academy has announced its budget for next year and the rates are going up.
The budget for the 2013-2014 school year is $36,492,484, an increase of 2.99 percent over the current year’s budget.
Tuition for regular education students attending the Derry high school next year will be $10,292, 2.76 percent over the current rate, an increase of $276.70 per student.
The school serves the towns of Derry, Hampstead and Chester under contract. Auburn will send its students to Pinkerton next fall as the fourth official “sending” town. Other towns send students on a space-available basis.
Pinkerton can accept up to 75 students from other communities based on the contacts with its towns.
Even though the numbers have gone up, Pinkerton officials say education here is still a value.
“Every year, every budget starts at 0,” Pinkerton headmaster Mary Anderson said.
She said departments submit budgets showing their needs and it goes from there until final approvals are made.
The process begins in May and runs through November. It is sometimes difficult to find ways to save money while keeping the educational value strong, Anderson said.
This year’s budget process went pretty smoothly.
Numbers for next year are based on a projected enrollment of 3,070 or 10 more students than the current year.
Next year also adds three new courses to be taught by existing faculty members. Four new part-time jobs will be added.
Along with regular education costs, the school’s three-part special education program is projected to have 515 students enrolled next year.
Tuition for the Resource program is $6,601, or a 2.33 percent increase. The PASSES program tuition increases by $1,444, up to $17,242 due to dropping enrollment. In the Alternative Comprehensive Training program, tuition increases 11 percent up to $22,476, also due to fewer students in the program.
“In creating a new budget, Pinkerton justifies each expense and revenue line item, and follows a zero-based budget process,” Anderson said.
She maintains Pinkerton is a great value.
“We recognize our fiduciary responsibility to residents of our partner school districts, as well as our academic commitment to students,” Anderson said.
All sending towns are anticipating fewer students going to Pinkerton next year, with the exception of Chester, which expects to send 10 more.
Derry is expected to send 93 fewer students next year and Hampstead could send 15 fewer.
Auburn will send about 236 students to Pinkerton next fall as the fourth official contracted town.
“The trustees of Pinkerton look to balance the needs of taxpayers and students,” school treasurer James Mulrennen said. “Our cost per student is low when compared to the state average, yet we do our utmost to mantain curriculum and facilities that deliver choice and a continued high quality education.”