Schools seek budget increase

The School Committee has been making its case for the school budget to rise 4.87 percent in fiscal 2014, which begins July 1, to about $39.54 million. Committee Chairwoman Deborah Sovinee said the increase is needed after a decade in which the average annual increase has been just under 2 percent. Sovinee said the district has lost about 40 positions during that time while the per-pupil spending for the district’s 4,000 students is $1,300 less than the average spending per pupil of towns and cities across the state. “The School Committee, after a lot of thought, feels this budget is exactly what we need,” said Sovinee. The budget proposed by selectmen would give the schools about $200,000 less than they are seeking.