Leicester nears school budget spending plan

LEICESTER — Taxpayers in Leicester will be relieved to hear that town school directors are on track to propose a level-funded Leicester Central School spending plan for the 2010-2011 school year.
On Wednesday the board will meet to vote on the proposed budget. And although the past couple years have brought bad news for the school, with several failed efforts to consolidate with schools in neighboring towns and building maintenance woes, school board chair Hannah Sessions was optimistic last Friday.
“We’re looking really good to achieve a minimal or zero increase on our budget,” she said.
The initial budget proposal the board got from administrators provided for a spending increase of about 4 percent, but the board was able to make changes that brought spending down, Sessions said.
One thing that helped was that the school was able to fix its aging boiler, and replacement is not a pressing need right now, Sessions said. In the meantime, the board is seeking funding to replace the boiler from grants — not taxpayers.
And Leicester Central, unlike many other schools in the county, has not seen a drop in enrollment. Sessions said she didn’t anticipate any reduction in the number of student next year, either. This is in part thanks to increasing demand for the school’s pre-kindergarten program.
The school board will vote on the budget proposal at a meeting scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (after a 6:30 p.m. executive session) on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at the Leicester Central School, and that will go before voters on Town Meeting Day.

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