East Bridgewater

Schools seek $760K increase

The stage has been set for a financial tug-of-war at Town Meeting, which begins June 3, between selectmen and the School Committee. The School Committee this week passed a recommended budget of $17,124,719 for the 2013-14 school year, an increase of $760,826 over this year’s budget. Selectmen had asked town departments to submit level-funded budgets. In approving the increase, committee members pointed to increases in costs for state-mandated special education and English Language Learner programs, and additional costs stemming from the reorganization of the schools associated with the opening of the new East Bridgewater Junior-Senior High this fall. In their budget presentation, school officials said the district has 34.3 fewer East Bridgewater Education Association positions than it had seven years ago, and that the district’s per-pupil spending remains the ninth-lowest of 350 school districts in the state. The committee has also outlined possible cuts if the budget is not fully funded, including cutting a teacher at each grade level, or eliminating high school sports, extracurricular activities, and busing not required by the state.