Mattapoisett School Committee approves 1.11 percent budget increase

Apr 24, 2018

Amid decreasing enrollment, the Mattapoisett School Committee voted to approve a 1.11 percent budget increase for fiscal year 2019.

The budget will increase $76,785 from $6,917,439 to $6,994,224.

Some of the changes being made are the addition of a full-time nurse and a science specialist. Currently, there is one full-time nurse and one nurse’s assistant shared between Center School and Old Hammondtown School. The plan is to eliminate the assistant position and have two full-time nurses, one at each school.

The science specialist would work with students from pre-k to fifth grade and co-teach with classroom teachers to help bring more specialized learning to students.

There will be a 2.33 percent increase in professional staff salaries and a 4.18 percent increase in clerical staff and paraprofessionals.

Transportation costs are down $2,616 overall and the district will use circuit breaker funds to help offset the special education program and transportation costs by $42,975.

Director of Student Services Mike Nelson explained that the state sets a base number for the amount of money each school district is responsible to spend for special education costs. Any money over that is money that can be claimed for reimbursement from the state.

In Mattapoisett, 14 percent of students were deemed eligible for special education services, which is below the state average of 17.9 percent.

“We’re at a really nice place,” Nelson said. “Our special education team also helps out any students who need the extra support.”

Enrollment for next year is expected to decrease again, from 422 to 409. Those numbers do not include preschool.

“We had a high of 487 students in fiscal year 2012, but have decreased the last couple years,” Superintendent Doug White said.

There is a total of 3.65 percent decrease in staffing, with the elimination of two teaching positions. Fifty-six percent of staffing is based at Center School and 46 percent is based at Old Hammondtown.