Lincoln voters consider school budget

LINCOLN — School board officials in Lincoln last week warned a proposed 2010-2011 school year spending plan after a vote on the budget was put on hold at the town’s annual meeting in early March.
The new spending plan calls for $1,609,535 in expenditures. According to Addison Northeast Supervisory Union business manager, the educational spending in the budget is virtually unchanged from the $1.4 million figure presented to the town in early March.
The budget will require a two-part vote because per pupil spending at the school last year exceeded the state average, and this year’s budget is greater than last year’s budget adjusted for inflation.
Voters on Monday, May 3, will be asked first to approve $1,599,757 in spending. Voters will also be asked to OK the additional $9,778 deemed necessary by the board for the budget. The vote will take place at 7 p.m. at Burnham Hall.
The town decided to delay its vote on the budget until May after school officials learned just shortly before town meeting that an accounting error meant the board was grappling with an unexpected $71,000 deficit.
In an attempt to cut that deficit, board members trimmed funding from the arts and technology budgets, though school board chair David Venman said he doesn’t think the cuts will affect students’ education.
The board also cut back extra custodial time that had been built into the spending plan for summer maintenance work at the schools. Cuts to the budget include one full-time teacher and one and a half full time aides.
“It’s bare, bare, bare bones. It’s cut down as low as it can possibly be cut down,” Venman said. “We did the best we could to deal with the hand that we’ve been dealt, and I think we did a good job being careful and making the best decision that we could without dramatically impacting the education the students are going to get.”
Reporter Kathryn Flagg is at [email protected].

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