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O'Connor Proposes 2.46% Increase in School Budget

The school committee's budget public hearing is at 6:15 p.m. next Wednesday, Dec. 11, in Forbes Municipal Building Room 23.

Westborough School Superintendent Marianne O'Connor. Patch File Photo.
Westborough School Superintendent Marianne O'Connor. Patch File Photo.
Westborough School Superintendent Marianne O'Connor has proposed a 2.46 percent budget increase for next year.

The proposed $43,743,054 budget includes a total staff increase of 5.15 full-time-equivalent positions, including one new third grade teacher at the Fales Elementary School and a new second grade teacher at the Hastings Elementary School, O'Connor told the school committee Wednesday night. It also includes the reduction of 1.6 full-time-equivalent positions, including a full-time guidance counselor.

The school committee's budget public hearing is at 6:15 p.m. next Wednesday, Dec. 11, in Forbes Municipal Building Room 23.

Counting O'Connor's budget proposal, the town's contribution to the school budget has increased 2.49 percent, on average, over the past six years, the superintendent said during her presentation. The budget for the current school year is up 3.10 percent.

O'Connor said her budget proposal includes a 3.3 percent increase in salaries.

However, that figure "does not include pending salary negotiations," which haven't started, she said.

A new full-time Kindergarten teacher is among the new proposed positions.

"We don't know what our Kindergarten enrollment will be for next year," O'Connor said.

"But we do know that our preschool is exploding."

O'Connor said she is unsure which school the teacher will be assigned to, "but it will be wherever there's a classroom available."

The school budget proposal doesn't reflect all of the school administration's requests, she said.

"There were other things on the list. And we finally said to the administrators, 'Okay, what are the must-haves?'"

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