Website error creates confusion on Falmouth school budget

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FALMOUTH — The School Department posted incorrect information on its website regarding details of the proposed fiscal year 2018 school budget.

The numbers – a 3.27 percent increase in spending for a possible tax increase of 80 cents per $1,000 of valuation – were correct.

But accompanying comments from Superintendent of Schools Geoff Bruno were actually a year old, from his fiscal year 2017 presenatation.

“(It) was just a clerical mistake,” Bruno said Thursday in an email. “Last year’s letter was accidentally uploaded onto the FY18 budget page.”

The error has now been corrected.

The relevant passages of Bruno’s letter reiterate the district’s commitment to not including any new spending in the new budget proposal.

His letter reads, in part, “This budget … represents no new personnel or program additions; our goal is to maintain current staffing and programs.”

Bruno’s letter goes on to say that an expected loss in state aid of more than $933,000 presents a significant fiscal challenge that “prevents us from considering new personnel requests we feel are critical to continue moving our district forward.”

However, overall, he said the proposed budget of just over $36 million still “puts the needs of our students and faculty first, respects the significant fiscal challenges we face as a community, and invests in the resources necessary to continuously improve learning for all.”