DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

December 6, 2012

School budget could cut 13 jobs in Londonderry

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — LONDONDERRY — Thirteen teachers may lose their jobs as part of the school district’s hopes of keeping the budget tight for next year.

As Londonderry anticipates losing $1.1 million in state adequacy funding for fiscal year 2014 and another $1.7 million that includes a 35 percent shortfall in the state’s share of retirement funding, teaching positions at all district schools may be cut as part of a proposed $66 million budget plan.

Superintendent Nate Greenberg presented the numbers to the School Board at a meeting Nov. 27.

He said the proposed budget for next year shows an increase of $578,506 over the current year’s budget, while remaining about $1 million below the default number.

Greenberg said the losses at the state level, along with decreasing enrollment numbers, resulted in the possibility of cuts in staff and other areas.

The staff cuts would include two teaching positions at the high school, two and a half middle school jobs, five elementary teachers, and another 1.7 elementary gym, music and art positions.

Reductions may also cost part-time support staff and summer school teachers their jobs.

Next year’s budget would have a tax impact of 49 cents, Greenberg said.

“To achieve the proposed budget recommendations, we worked diligently with the administrative staff to address all the factors impacting our budget,” Greenberg said, “as well as addressing our strategic plan and being mindful of the necessity to be strategic forward thinking regarding future issues.”

He said many difficult decision were made to get to the proposed $2 million in reductions, $1,172,221 of which were personnel cuts and another $904,000 in non-personnel reductions.

“We have not been Pollyanna-ish in our outlook,” Greenberg said. “We recognize that to accomplish what we and the community expects of our schools, internal accommodations and adjustments will have to be made.”

School Board Chairman John Laferriere said the district has a lot of challenges and hard work ahead.

“This is no easy task,” he said. “All efforts are greatly appreciated. We’re in tough times, but (we’ll give it) the due diligence it deserves.”

The School Board meets for budget workshops on Dec. 6, 13, 18 and 20. All meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are held at the town offices.