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School Budget: Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and More

The second part of Superintendent Dr. John Doherty's proposed fiscal year 2013 budget presentation, as heard by the School Committee on Jan. 19.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, in a School Committee meeting in the Superintendent’s Conference Room at Reading High, Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Doherty, Finance Director Mary DeLai and Director of Student Services Alison Elmer presented the remaining portions of the proposed School Department budget for fiscal year 2013, including the special education, school and town facilities and other cost centers.

DeLai also gave the committee an update on the FY12 budget.

Here we will take a look at the athletics, extracurricular activities, networking and technology maintenance, school building maintenance and town building maintenance.

Athletics

The athletics budget funds the salaries and expenses necessary to fund the Reading High School sports programs. Last year, participation rose by 60 students across the board. According to materials released by the School Department, 2012 participation appears to be tracking near the 2011 levels—despite the $40 hike in user fees.

63 percent of the athletics budget is used to fund the salaries of coaches, the Athletic Director and support staff.

The total athletics budget is up 9.4 percent, from $384,841 to $421,084.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Salaries will rise by 7 percent for FY13, from $135,315 to $144,808.
  • Contract services are slated to jump 6.9 percent, from $216,726 to $231,715.
  • Supplies and materials will jump a whopping 40.1 percent, from $14,000 to $19,615.
  • Other expenses see an increase of 9.4 percent, from $18,800 to $24,947.

Extracurricular Activities

The extracurricular activities budget funds the salaries, stipends, and a small portion of the expenses necessary to offer extracurricular activities at the high school and the two middle schools. These activities include the high school drama and band programs, the middle school drama and band programs, and several other school committee approved activities.

The extracurricular activities budget shows a decrease of 3.6 percent for FY13 which is a reduction of $1,421. The primary reason for this decrease is the increased use of revenue offsets assumed in FY13, a $2,000 increase over the FY12 budget amount.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Salaries are down 12.8 percent, from $21,146 to $18,435.
  • Contract services are down 3.8 percent, from $12,000 to $11,540.
  • Supplies and materials are set to fall precipitously, from $1,500 to $700—a decrease of 53.3 percent.
  • Other expenses show the only increase in this section, rising 56.7 percent from $4,500 to $7,050.

Networking and Technology Maintenance

The networking and technology maintenance budget funds the salaries and expenses required to operate, service, repair, and maintain our technology infrastructure including our wide area network, wireless networks, servers, computer hardware and peripheral devices, and telecommunications equipment.

The networking and technology maintenance budget for FY13 increases by 29.1 percent or $71,558. Of this increase $54,000 is attributed to the request for an additional 1.5 FTE computer technicians.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Salaries are up 30.5 percent, from $207,980 to $271,485.
  • Contract Services will rise 34.2 percent, from $17,040 to $22,876.
  • Supplies will be level funded, remaining at $2,399.
  • Other expenses show a 10.6 percent increase, from $21,000 to $23,217.

School Building Maintenance

The school building maintenance budget funds the salaries and expenses necessary to operate and maintain our school buildings. This includes the salaries of the custodial and maintenance staff, the Director of Facilities, the Energy and Facilities Services Manager and one full-time secretary that supports the department.

The total school building maintenance budget shows a 0.1 decrease over FY12.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Salaries are down 0.2 percent in the proposed FY13 budget, from $1,119,977 to $1,117,581.
  • Contract services are set to increase by 6.7 percent, from $351,676 to $375,212.
  • Supplies will jump 7.1 percent, from $86,210 to $92,361.
  • Other expenses will decrease by 1.9 percent, from $1,641,247 to $1,610,844.

Town Building Maintenance

The town building maintenance budget funds the salaries and expenses necessary to operate and maintain our seven municipal buildings which include Town Hall, Reading Public Library, Reading Senior Center, the Department of Public Works Garage, the Police Station, and the Main Street and Woburn Street Fire Stations.

For FY13, the town building maintenance cost center shows a modest 0.6 percent increase.

  • Salaries are up 0.2 percent, from $168,209 to $168,489.
  • Contract services are up 14 percent, from $93,290 to $106,389.
  • Supplies will increase 0.6 percent, from $13,620 to $13,707.
  • Other expenses show a decrease of 2.2 percent, from $424,758 to $415,582.

Total grant funding from all state and federal grants drops sharply for FY13 in the proposed budget estimates, from $4,281,365 in FY12 to $2,938,601. A decrease of a whopping 31.4 percent.

Overall, there was a net gain of $244,134 in the district’s special revenue funds at the close of the last fiscal year. The majority of the net increase came from the school lunch program and our before and after school program.

There are also several user fees that will increase slightly for FY13. The family cap for transportation will rise from $600 to $650, while the individual and family caps on athletic user fees will both increase by $50. All other user fees remain static.

For more details, see the attached PDF file for the complete presentation.

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