Falmouth School Board approves $36.9M budget

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FALMOUTH — The School Board has approved a fiscal year 2019 budget of $36.9 million, which would add 72 cents to the tax rate.

The board on Monday agreed to about $200,000 in reductions to Superintendent Geoff Bruno’s initial budget request, which leaves the proposed spending increase at $1.1 million.

For a home valued at $300,000 the spending package would add $216 to the annual tax bill, according to Dan O’Shea, the School Department’s director of finance and operations.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m. the Town Council was scheduled to hold a public hearing at Town Hall on the combined municipal and school budgets, which together would now total $46.9 million – a possible new tax rate of $16.43 per $1,000 of valuation.

O’Shea said the school budget allows the School Department to “move forward, while making the (spending) more palatable” to taxpayers.

He said the budget “holds onto items of real importance.”

Among the new items approved by the School Board are an additional guidance counselor at the elementary school, a computer science and technology education teacher at the middle school and a couple new stipended positions at the high school.

The stipends include a manager for the auditorium and a testing coordinator to oversee advanced placement exams.

Going into this week’s public hearing, the proposed municipal budget for the new fiscal year stood at $12.7 million, an increase in spending of nearly $276,000, according to Town Manager Nathan Poore.

The municipal budget includes a couple new positions, including a full-time emergency medical attendant/firefighter and a new school resource officer.