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Superintendent's Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2013 adds two teachers to this school

by Hilary Brumberg

After eliminating 9.8 regular education high school teaching positions in Fiscal Year 2012, superintendent David Fleishman’s Proposed Budget for FY13 will add back five regular education high school full time educators. The proposal also includes funding for custodial operations, English Language Learning, the Innovation Lab and other programs at this school.

Fleishman’s $178,781,245 FY13 Proposed Budget includes a 4.1 percent increase over the total FY12 School Committee approved budget of $171,820,000.

In FY13, the Newton Public Schools will spend almost $23.5 million operating this school, a 3.4 percent increase over FY12.

Two regular education FTEs, which cost $193,964, are proposed to be added to this school to allow for similar class sizes and counselor caseloads with the projected enrollment growth of 34 students.

“We are very pleased to be adding staffing to accommodate the additional enrollment,” Fleishman said.

“While excellent teaching is the most important variable in student learning, we are cognizant of the fact that reasonable class sizes allow for more opportunities for student/teacher interaction and for more effective small group instruction.”

Once student registration is finalized, Fleishman will work with the School Committee and this school’s administration to allocate the additional staffing to each department, he said.

In addition to regular education, Fleishman proposed adding funding to other programs at this school.

A full time custodian will be added to this school, costing $38,750.

It suggests an additional 0.55 English Language Learning FTEs, funded via tuition revenue from other districts who send a small number of special education students to the NPS. This partial teaching position would allow for additional sections of English as a Second Language and Power English, which is for students at risk of failing the MCAS, the proposal said.

Grant funding of the Innovation Lab director position expires at the end of this school year, so the proposed budget includes 0.5 FTEs for that position, costing $41,680. The superintendent and School Committee hope that this will “continue the exciting initiatives taking place at the Lab, broaden opportunities to cultivate business partnerships, bring Lab activities to the middle schools and increase the revenue-generating potential of student programs,” according to the proposal.

The proposed budget also factors in a $29,500 increase in high school teaching stipends and a $64,119 increase in high school athletics transportation and supplies expenses.

Per School Committee budget guidelines, 0.5 secondary reserve FTE with be shared between this school and South.

0.5 FTEs of secretarial support will be added that is dedicated to the management of rental income from this building.

Contracted Special Education services will jump from $55,000 to $124,881, a 127 percent increase.

The FY13 budget will allow for the implementation of a freshman smaller learning community at this school, a program that currently runs at South.

A major change the FY12 budget brought was the increase in the athletic fee and the addition of a drama fee and a student activity fee for participation in non-athletic school-sponsored extra-curricular activities. This year, collections of the student activity fee fell short of projections by 77 percent and collections of the drama fee fell short by 43 percent, according to the proposal.

The proposed FY13 budget does not increase or add any fees in the hopes that fee collections will increase next year as schools acclimate to the new fees, according to the proposal.

Tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the Ed Center, the School Committee will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed FY13 budget. The Committee will further discuss and then vote on the FY13 budget Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Ed Center. All meetings are open to the public.

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