WOOD RIVER JUNCTION — The proposed 2015 school budget specifies a zero percent increase and a .81 percent reduction (including debt service) in member town contributions from the the previous year’s budget, according to Chariho Superintendent of Schools Barry Ricci’s presentation to the school committee on Saturday.
According to Ricci, the proposed 2015 budget total is $55,357,310. The impact on individual towns, which includes shifts in enrollment, will be:
Charlestown -$293,940 -2.03 percent
Richmond +$78,745 + .43 percent
Hopkinton -$204,273 -1.11 percent
Included in the budget was a more slowly phased implementation of Chariho 1:1, a program that will provide every teacher and student with a personal computing device and will eventually replace textbooks. The 2014 budget included providing devices to teachers in September 2013, which they received. Students in grades ten through twelve were to receive their laptops in January 2014, but Ricci chose to delay distribution because the school’s wireless infrastructure was inadequate. In December, the school received a grant to upgrade the wireless system but there was insufficient time to do the work before the intended January 1:1 rollout. The proposed 2015 budget will provide devices to students in grades nine through twelve and middle school teachers. On this time table, middle school teachers will have a year to master their devices and use of educational technology before their students receive their own laptops.
Because of enrollment decreases, the proposed budget specifies proposed staff reductions at the middle school, which include eliminating the split grade seven/eight team as well as reducing by two the number of grade five and six teachers. The budget also includes the reduction of one middle school dean.
For the whole story, pick up today's Chariho Times.