, Derry, New Hampshire

February 6, 2014

Pinkerton Academy recalcuates its budget

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — Pinkerton Academy’s numbers are growing, thanks to an agreement with Hooksett. That means the school’s tuition rate will go down for next year, saving Pinkerton’s contracted towns a little more money.

Pinkerton officials announced they have recalculated the tuition rate for next year in light of the number of Hooksett students who will be attending the school in the fall.

With enrollment up, the tuition rate goes down.

The new tuition rate for 2014-2015 is $10,656 per student, a decrease of $140.68 per student over the rate announced in December.

The new tuition rate shows a 3.5 percent increase over the current school year number.

The new rate comes after Pinkerton added 40 students to its projected enrollment for next year.

Hooksett has signed an agreement to send students to the Derry high school.

Pinkerton spokesman Chip Underhill said there are still many unknowns to consider with those numbers, including the NEXT Charter School in Derry and another proposed charter arts school and how many high school students may choose to enroll there.

“We do not know if any of those students will choose it over Pinkerton,” Underhill said. “Also, we are currently registering students from all districts and arranging their course selections. This could create incremental cost for a few additional teaching positions.”

At the annual winter meeting with Pinkerton’s contracted schools, Derry School Board member Dan Mckenna asked that Pinkerton trustees reconsider next year’s tuition rate, due to the upswing in enrollment related to the Hooksett agreement.

Underhill said there was enough time for the trustees to convene, discuss and approve the request, make changes to the tuition rate, and then release the information to the sending schools prior to deliberative sessions and public hearings.

Pinkerton has returned any budget surplus to its sending districts in 12 of the past 13 years, including the last 11 years in a row, Underhill said.

“We certainly hope to do that,” he said. “We do not simply spend what is budgeted, preferring to return unused funds to taxpayers.”

Underhill said Pinkerton trustees thanked board members who asked the questions about possibly reducing the tuition rate due to the potential effect Hooksett students might have on the number for next year.