By APRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent
LONDONDERRY -- Residents will have a chance to voice their opinions on the potential elimination of 87 certified and noncertified school district positions tonight during the school district’s first budget public hearings.
The public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. in the Moose Hill Conference Room at Town Hall.
This year’s proposed budget is $317,000 below the current year’s budget. Among the positions that could face the ax next year are 11.8 teaching positions at the elementary, middle and high schools, 2.5 special education administrators, four high school special education assistants, a high school vocational councilor, a middle school attendance monitor and three district-wide drug and alcohol counselors.
Proponents of the staff reduction noted the district’s enrollment is decreasing. Overall, the district currently enrolls 4,992 students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12, marking a steady decline in enrollment from preceding years.
In Dec. 2009, the district had 5,180 students enrolled. During the 2006 through 2007 school year, the district enrolled 5,447 students. The overall enrollment is projected to decrease to 4,829 by the 2011-2012 school year.
In November, Superintendent Nathan Greenberg unveiled his original proposed budget at nearly $2.5 million below default.
During the district’s final budget workshop on Dec. 21, board members sought further reductions. At that time, Greenberg noted the district’s teachers had also agreed to forego payments given for attending regular staff development workshops — a move that would save the district $135,000 next year.
As it stands now, the district proposes a $63,222,575 general fund budget, which is $317,480 less than the current general fund, and $2,751,479 below default.
The passage of warrant articles at this year’s polls would increase the general fund by another $345,000. Overall, residents could face an overall tax rate of $14.87 in the coming fiscal year, a 1.48 percent increase from this year.