Pentucket Regional School Board reviews budget Tuesday | News

WEST NEWBURY — The Pentucket Regional School Board is expected to review the operating budget for the next school year when it meets for a business meeting Tuesday evening.

According to the District’s fiscal year 2023 budget narrative, the District is considering a proposed operating budget of $49.9 million. The financial year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30, 2023.

The proposed budget is up $3.1 million from last year’s allocation of $46.8 million and represents an increase of 6.65%.

Revenues, according to the proposed budget, are estimated at $48 million in local, state, excise and deficit revenue, leaving an operating deficit of $1.8 million that would need to be closed before the district has a budget. balance.

Transportation costs are projected to increase by $583,676 (up $232,039 for standard transportation and $207,637 for special education transportation, while losing $144,000 in state regional transportation funding .)

Insurance costs, kindergarten enrollment, high school class sizes, and contracts for clerks, guards, and paraeducators remain unknown numbers in the budget.

As part of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2023, the district is asking the three towns of the Pentucket Regional School District – West Newbury, Merrimac and Groveland – to increase their operational ratings by 3% to help fund the operating budget of school next year.

So Groveland would see an increase of $872,485, West Newbury would increase by $753,725 and Merrimac would be valued at an additional $978,020.

Superintendent Justin Bartholomew wrote in the document’s cover letter that the district has many gaps that need to be filled.

Bartholomew said Pentucket spent $848.22 less per student than the state average and $1,172.12 less than neighboring school districts of Amesbury, Georgetown, Newburyport and Triton.

The superintendent is asking for an additional $220,000 for two technology assistants to work with middle and high school students, a new technology repair worker, and a new human resources manager at the central office.

The district is also looking to: fill new classroom and special education teaching positions; hire a full-time athletic director to oversee both high school and college; changing the roles of three special education coordinators to administrators; bringing a new curriculum into classrooms; and add two guardians. The exact figures for these costs are not listed in the district’s February 15-February 25 updated budget information form.

Pentucket business manager Greg LaBrecque and school board chair Dena Trotter were unavailable for comment.

The school committee will meet in the Pentucket Regional Middle School cafeteria at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1.

Meanwhile, the district reported Friday that construction of the $146.3 million middle and high school building is approximately 70% complete and expected to meet the scheduled opening date for the start of the 2022 school year. -23.

Writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached by email at or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

Writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached by email at or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.