Rochester School Committee proposes 3.25% budget increase
ROCHESTER – The Rochester School Committee is proposing a budget of $6,459,584 for next year, up 3.25 percent from this year.
The three areas responsible for the biggest changes in budget are reading, special needs administration and the learning support center.
Rochester Memorial School Principal Derek Medeiros told the committee on Monday that the school plans to add a reading paraprofessional to its staff. There had been such a position previously, and Medeiros said the results had been positive.
“Adding this professional would help the kids and would open up opportunities to do some coaching for teaching,” he said.
Addition of the paraprofessional would increase the cost of the elementary reading program by $12,178, or 13.34 percent.
The requested special needs administration increase of $9,438, or 23.17 percent, is due to planned “Responsive Classroom training” for staff, paid for without the assistance of grants. The Responsive Classroom approach focuses on social as well as academic development – teaching skills such as cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control directly and through organized plan.
The Rochester Memorial administrators are also requesting a learning support center of $184,722, or 25.73 percent, to adjust the program in ways that administrators say better suit children’s needs.
There will be a budget hearing at an upcoming Rochester School Committee meeting before the committee votes to finalize its budget request. For more information, visit OldRochester.org.
After the School Committee approves a budget, it goes to the Finance Committee and ultimately Town Meeting.
The requested budget increase is slightly larger than last year’s increase of 2.9 percent.