BETHEL — The SAD 44 board approved a proposed 2011-12 operating budget Monday night that could be either $9.6 or $9.8 million contingent upon whether the town of Andover decides to keep its elementary school open.
Board members voted overwhelmingly Monday night to close the school with a current enrollment of fewer than 30 K through fifth-graders.
Superintendent David Murphy said if Andover residents decide to pay the extra $214,000 to keep the school open, that amount of money must be put in the proposed budget.
A group of Andover residents have already scheduled a special meeting for 9 a.m. Saturday at the Town Hall to decide what action, if any, they want to take to keep the school.
The $9.6 million proposal includes the $214,000 cost to operate the school. Murphy said the board decided to use $50,000 of that sum to fund a Title I math/reading specialist at the middle school. Because of the loss of federal stimulus money, that position would have been eliminated.
Just over $82,000 of the Andover school operation costs will be put in a contingency account and used if fall enrollments show a need. About $41,000 will go into a maintenance contingency, and another $41,000 will be set aside to pay for anticipated increased fuel costs.
Murphy said a public hearing date on the closure of the Andover school will be announced within the next few weeks.
The district's proposed $9.6 million budget is up from about $9.2 million largely because of the loss of federal funds and fixed cost increases.
To arrive at the figure, several positions were cut, including four elementary teaching positions, a half-time high school science teacher, a half-time School to Work advisor at the high school, a Title I instructor, two educational technicians, a secretarial position, and a half-time custodial position. The former teaching principal position at Woodstock Elementary School was changed to a full-time elementary position.
The board also approved the SAD 44 adult education 2011-12 budget of $161,316, up slightly from the previous year's figure. The local share, however, will decrease because of grant funds.
Voting on the district budgets will take place in late June.