The Rochester School Committee held a public hearing Thursday to discuss the proposed budget of Rochester Memorial School for fiscal year 2014.
The proposal, which is for $5,526,343, shows a decrease of $46,771 from fiscal year 2013, which was $5,573,114.
It includes the elimination of two teacher positions at RMS and the addition of an administrative position at the school. Superintendent Douglas White noted that the decrease is a result from changes in staffing, a decrease in students attending Bristol County Agricultural High School, and a decrease in special education services for students in the district, among several other factors.
“I just tried to capture the overall the budget and let you know how the budget has gone up and down,” White said. He noted several areas where spending had gone up, as well, but overall, spending is projected to be decreased.
“There’s a need for administration within the building,” said White, citing an overall decrease in enrollment by about 50 as justification for eliminating two teaching positions. He said that the staff will still be “well equipped” to handle the amount of students that are enrolled.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Elise Frangos also supported the change, citing recent tragedies at schools as one example of a need for more administration within the school.
“Part and parcel of the administrator is to ensure that everyone is safe and serves as another set of eyes.”
She also added that the part of the point of hiring an experienced administrator is for them to assist and make an impression on the teachers themselves.
“Invariably, when you hire an administrator, that person comes with an area of expertise,” Frangos said.
The budget still needs to be approved at the Rochester Town Meeting on May 20 before it can be implemented.
By Nick Walecka