Residents will have the final say when they gather for town meeting.

SABATTUS – School officials here have approved a $4,272,606 proposed operating budget.

That marks a 2.42 percent increase from the current $4,171,662 operating budget, said Superintendent Paul Malinski.

The budget covers Sabattus Elementary School and town’s portion of the superintendent’s office’s expenses.

The budget now will go to voters at town meeting, scheduled May 30.

A 10 percent increase in health insurance costs, a 40.7 percent increase in property and casualty insurance, and, among other things, a 22.9 percent increase in oil costs have fueled the jump from the current budget to the new proposed budget. Property and casualty insurance has shot up, because insurers now consider schools potential terrorist targets in the wake of the terror attacks, Malinski has said at past budget meetings this year.

The proposed budget would eliminate the positions of three, regular teacher aides. But School Committee members made official a decision to preserve the position of school social worker Gloria Giroux.

In April, School Committee members restored Giroux’s position in a draft budget. That decision became official Wednesday night with the approval of the budget. In early versions of a draft budget, Giroux’s full-time position had been eliminated in favor of hiring an independently contracted social worker, who would have been paid by the hour and not received any benefits.

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