Wrentham Elementary Presents Budget to Public
Public hearing held to present elementary school budget proposal to the town.
The Wrentham Elementary School Committee presented its budget proposal to the public at its meeting Tuesday night.
District Superintendent Jeffrey Marsden explained the $9.7 million budget to town citizens, noting that the primary cost drivers were additional positions, the loss of a federal grant and technology.
"This budget would be a 7.7 percent increase," he said. "A level-service budget would still be a six percent increase."
Marsden said the district spent substantially less than the two other towns that comprise the King Philip region.
"This is all about what you value as a town," he said. "If we spent as much per student as Norfolk or Plainville, [the budget] would be $1.4 million to $1.8 million higher."
Committee Chairman Edward Goddard said the schools have been fiscally responsible, noting relatively limited spending increases over the past few years.
Selectman Stephen Langley asked about sharing technology costs between the school and town.
"Obviously, a lot of costs are probably tied up in software licensing fees," he said. "There's a lot of open-source software out there — have you investigated that?"
Goddard said the schools would be open to collaboration.
"We just had a discussion with the Finance Committee about whether we can share expertise with the town hall," he said.
Marsden said the technology spending would largely be in hardware.
"The money really is for equipment," he said. "When tablet computing is ready, we want to be ready."
"Sixteen percent of our computers are eight to 12 years old," he added.