The School Committee, the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee have voted in favor of an FY2017 school department budget in the amount of $76,099,203. This new budget figure is an update to what is printed in the Finance Committee Report and represents a 3.82% increase over last year's school budget.
Over the April vacation, Town Manager Andrew Flanagan and Superintendent Sheldon Berman continued budget negotiations and developed a compromise to bridge the difference between the preliminary School Department budget and the Town Manager’s recommendation. To bridge that difference, the School Department reduced its budget request by $640,000 in areas other than instruction. The Town increased its recommendation by $618,000 through the allocation of additional state aid, new growth revenue and increased local receipts. In addition, the School Department will offset increased special education costs through the use of its special education reserve fund (Circuit Breaker Reserve) with the agreement among the chairs of the three boards to establish another mechanism for addressing the fluctuations in special education costs.
The compromise budget maintains the school department’s current services, addresses increased requirements in special education, and provides for the addition of five elementary school teachers to reduce class sizes. The budget will now go to Town Meeting with endorsement from all three boards.
Andover Town Meeting begins Monday night May 2nd. It is also scheduled for Tuesday, May 3rd and Monday, May 9th, with potential to extend to a fourth night on Tuesday, May 10th. Each night of Town Meeting begins at 7:00 pm at the Collins Center at Andover High School, 80 Shawsheen Road.
In addition to the budget, there are numerous warrant articles that address school needs including the capital improvement plan, technology, the turf on the high school track and field, and many others. The articles that address school needs include the following articles:
4 – FY2017 Budget
5 – FY-2017 Capital Projects Fund Appropriation
11A – Grant Program Authorization
11E – Contracts in Excess of Three Years
16 – FY2017 Revolving Accounts
17 – FY2017 Creation of School Dept. Revolving Account
29 – Collins Center Façade Replacement (requires a 2/3 vote)
30 – Lovely Field Turf Replacement (requires a 2/3 vote)
34 – School Building Maintenance and Renovation (requires a 2/3 vote)
35 – 1:1 Student Learning Initiative
36 – Elementary School Projectors
37 – Annual Computer Workstation and Laptop Replacement Program and
38 – Town and School Energy Initiatives
More information on these articles can be found in the Finance Committee Report and the School Department’s FY2017 Budget can be found below