Barrington officials trim back school budget increase

Further cuts 'will have a negative effect on students'

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Barrington school officials recently cut the proposed budget increase by about $380,000, but warned that any further reductions "will have a negative effect on students."

The reduction was approved at the April 12 school committee meeting, after the proposed budget had been reviewed by members of the committee on appropriations. School officials shared the news with parents of school children in an email late last week.

Barrington's tax exemptions under review.

"I remain committed to maintaining a level service budget," wrote Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore. "Although we have held positions harmless and minimized direct impact on teaching and learning, any further cuts will have a negative effect on students."

The budget — not including debt service payments for the $68.4 million middle school bond — now calls for increase of $1,202,448.

"At this time, the proposed budget continues to include some unknown factors, such as enrollment changes at the elementary schools and renewal rates for property liability and worker’s compensation insurance," stated the email. 

Here's what was trimmed:

• Salaries: Reduced by $80,307, includes attrition for retirement, adjustments for teachers step increase, salary savings in the technology department, partial funding a Special Education “System of Support” position using Federal Funds. "We have increased the salary line item for bus monitors by $20k, which is offset by a decrease in series 53000 (professional education services) for contracted bus monitors services."

• Benefits: Reduced by $66,072. Based on the updated renewal rates for medical insurance — from 8 percent to 7 percent for all covered employees and retirees.

• Professional education services: Reduced by $43,915. The result of shifting one bus monitor and reducing one addition monitor position with one less bus. An additional $5,000 for conferences and workshops was reduced by using funding from grants.

• Maintenance property services: Reduced by $41,000. The result of deferred maintenance for HVAC and plumbing services.

• Purchased services: Reduced by $58,399, by eliminating one bus to the in-district fleet.

• Supplies and materials: Reduced by $35,000. Deferring purchases and/or purchasing some items in current fiscal year. 

• Equipment: Reduced by $9,281. Deferring purchases and/or purchasing items in current fiscal year. 

• Capital reserve budget: Request reduced by $46,250, by deferring $15,0000 in purchases in capital technology and $31,250 for mini-bus.

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