BARRE – The Quabbin Regional School Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to further reduce the fiscal 2018 budget by $266,884, for a revised district budget of $33,510,057.
Superintendent Maureen M. Marshall said the action came after a meeting of selectmen and Finance Committee members representing Barre, Hardwick, Oakham and New Braintree saying the towns needed additional help to come in below the Proposition 2½ levy limit.
“This is an effort on the part of the school committee to increase the chances of the budget passing on the first go-round. If the budget fails and we have to go to a one-twelfth budget, it shows the commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education good faith on the part of the committee,” Supt. Marshall said.
The Hardwick annual town meeting is Saturday; New Braintree’s is June 19; Barre and Oakham, June 20. Hubbardston has already approved its Quabbin district assessment.
The superintendent said the money would come from capital projects deferred, technology programs budgeted but already in use, and cuts in the post-employment benefits account.
Mark Brophy, Barre representative, complained that capital projects were always the first on the cutting block and said continually deferring spending “will cost us dearly down the road.”
Ms. Marshall said spending decisions were made in part because all Oakham students would be bused to New Braintree elementary for the start of school in August, as the Oakham Center School would be closed for several months during the fall for the abatement of asbestos in the kitchen and…
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