Another sticking point with some was how the school district used the $800,000 that a handful of residents voted to restore to last year’s budget at the deliberative session meeting.
Simard said $257,000 of that amount was spent on staff including an elementary guidance counselor, part-time band teacher, grade five teacher, grade five educational assistant and the negotiated educational assistant contract agreement approved by voters at a special election in June 2013.
Any remaining funds would be returned to the town at the end of the current fiscal year, she said.
Resident Lynn Perkins said if the district is paying off a bond and has fewer students to pay for, why are there not more reduced costs seen in the budget numbers.
“I respect all you do,” Perkins said. “I wish you could do a little better. Taxpayers have been sucker-punched for the last several years.”
School Board Chairman Brenda Willis said the district is looking at an enrollment study to see where the numbers are headed and how to better pay for education based on those numbers.
“It’s to see where we can go with our enrollment and our buildings,” she said.
Laura Nelson said everyone worked hard to present a fiscally responsible budget for next year. That includes the hard work of the School Board, Fiscal Advisory Committee, school staff and administration.
“We have worked to put money back where it needs to be,” she said.
Derry’s school deliberative session is Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. at the West Running Brook Middle School gym.