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The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Timberlane superintendent predicts tough budget year

From the Eagle Tribune;

Timberlane superintendent predicts tough budget year

By Cara Hogan The Eagle Tribune Thu Oct 28, 2010, 12:24 AM EDT

The Timberlane Regional School District may have a tough time balancing the budget this year.

The district Budget Committee will meet for the first time today to go over the proposed school district budget for fiscal year 2012-2013.

It's early in the process and Budget Committee members were reluctant to say much about the proposal at this point.

Last week, the school administration presented a small fraction of the proposed budget — about $6 million of the probable total of $60 million.

"What you see there is a preliminary budget," Budget Committee Chairman Michelle O'Neil said yesterday. "It doesn't include health benefits or personnel costs, and more. We don't have a total dollar value yet."

But Superintendent Richard La Salle had some predictions for the challenges facing the school district this year.

"The economic situation of the state is tough," La Salle said. "The state sends us money for providing an adequate education, called adequacy. In the past two years, New Hampshire has paid for adequacy out of the Obama stimulus money, so that money goes away. There's a large shortfall, as much as $220 million the state has to make up in revenues this year. That has implications in terms of how much the state will be sending us."

He said the state also voted to decrease the money it spends on employee retirement by about 10 percent, while increasing the amount required, putting another burden on local schools and towns.

"The cost of employee retirement is expensive for us," La Salle said. "That's a very large ticket item for us, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars."

The loss of revenue, combined with increased expenses, makes this a difficult year for the school, he said.

"We still have to pay our bills," La Salle said. "Administrators have been charged with coming in with an extremely lean budget and they have accomplished that. But we're in the people business and the majority of our budget has to do with personnel costs. Our enrollments are declining a bit and I suspect we will have some reductions of positions due to class size."

La Salle said the committee still has some big decisions to make.

"It's an extremely tough time for the state and for those agencies, whether municipalities, fire, police or schools," La Salle said. "The School Board and Budget Committee know this and we're working hard. We'll continue to work on this through December."

Last year's Timberlane District budget was $62 million.

The district includes Timberlane Regional Middle and High School, Atkinson Academy, Danville Elementary, Pollard School and Sandown Elementary schools.


Anonymous said...

Maybe they should have listened when people spoke up last year, now it's worse.

If LaSalle is still preparing the budget, he should quit his high paid position and join the budget committee instead. That will save a bunch.

Anonymous said...

Hey this was what the guy with all the numbers said last year. he said that they should cut the budget then because the state and fed money wouldn't be there this year. he was right!

Anonymous said...

And they're gonna want a new high school too, because as Mr. LaSalle says "its our turn".

Anonymous said...

The guy with the numbers was Mark Acciard, and he is usually right about budget matters.

Anonymous said...

They are going to ask for a new HS. The nerve! In this economic climate, it's absurd.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, the SAU Board (which is comprised of school board members from Timberlane and Hampstead) has voted administrators a 2% raise for the second consecutive year. There will be a public hearing on this budget on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm at the Superintendent of Schools Office, 30 Greenough Road, Plaistow NH, for the purpose of presenting the 2011-2012 Preliminary Budget of the NH School Administrative Unit No. 55 (Timberlane and Hampstead School Districts) Office.

Anonymous said...

Yes remember last year when LaSalle told us we didnt have the right to know what he makes!

Anonymous said...

If Lasalle doesn't want us to know what his salary and benefits are then he should take a private sector job, and not a public job.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! You tell em!!! BTW, what does that have to do with this topic?

Anonymous said...

It has everything to do with the subject. If they predict a tough budget year, why vote themselves raises?

No one whould be able to vote for their own raise.

Anonymous said...

What is not on topic is this:

Exeter Democrat David Mirsky is challenging Jim Reams as a write-in candidate for the county's top prosecutor position.

Reams is a six term candidate and I want new blood in this office.

Len Mullen said...

The 10/28/2010 budget committee meeting has been posted on VIMEO and the portion of La Salle’s budget shared with the budget committee has been posted to the budget committee sharepoint. Go ahead and download the pdf files, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and participate in the meeting!

Anonymous said...

more raises in the budget. 2% for sau admins (not part of the budget) plus 1.8% 'step' for all unrepresented employees.