We're now less than a month away from Town Meeting, and the total amount for Fiscal Year 2014 revenues are projected at $101,412,843.
However, with the warrant now closed, Article 11 (where voters will approve the operating budget), would allow voters to discuss a possible Prop 2 1/2 override vote supplemental funding for the School Department's requests for funding above the Town Manager's recommended budget.
Westford's not alone, the Boston Globe reports that two other communities are looking into a possible override vote.
School Committee chairwoman Angela Harkness has said repeatedly during public meetings that most of the proposed additional funding to bring on new staff memebers is vital for maintaining the town's educational standards or are unexpected mandates from the state that must be funded.
Town Manager Jodi Ross has repeatedly indicated during public meetings that without revenue enhancements and the new positions, in Fiscal Year '15, many other town employees could lose their jobs.
Today, we want to give you some numbers over the progression of the budget process from the town Finance Department as well as numbers for the proposed additions from the School Department.
FY' 14 School Department Budget
School Committee Recommended Budget
Finance Commitee Recommended Budget(Jan. 28) $49,475,739 Revised Finance Committee Recommended Budget (Jan. 19) $49,356,566 Revised Town Manager Request (Jan. 19) $49,251,566 Original Town Manager Recommended Budget $48,801,566
Requested new positionsPosition/Expense Amount (Grade 3 to 5) 3.0 Literacy Specialists $174,441 (Grade 3 to 5) Additional Reading Interventionist Hours $23,623 (Grade 6 to 8) Additional Reading and Math Interventionist Hours $26,400 (Grade 9 to 12) .4 ELA Teacher $21,659 (Grade 9 to 12) .4 Math Teacher
$21,659 (Grade 9 to 12) .2 Mandarin Teacher
$10,830 (Grade 9 to 12) .5 Instructional Technology Specialist
$27,073 (Student Support) 3.0 Special Education Teacher Assistants $43,401 (Student Support) Outside Placement $465,000 (Systemwide) K-12 Coordinator of Instructional Technology $83,875 (Systemwide) School Resource Officer $72,000 (Curriculum) Full-time Grade 6-12 ELA Math Coordinator $43,318
NOTES: Superintendent Olsen estimates approximately $170,000 in savings from the bus contract and $100,000 in savings from net metering not initally expected at the beginning of the budget process.
Also, but was paid for in Fiscal Year 2013 through a budget transfer at Fall Town Meeting.
CORRECTION: The first sentence involves projected revenues, not necessarily the operating budget.