Published in the June 1, 2017 edition
By BILL LAFORME
NORTH READING – The School Committee has adopted a resolution urging state legislators to act promptly on recent recommendations that could help towns with their education funding.
The 4-0 vote at Tuesday night’s meeting focused on the recommendations issued by the state’s Foundation Budget Review Commission, which set out to review the formula the state uses to determine funding for school districts, based on factors like property values and incomes. School Committee Chair Mel Webster noted that the formula has not been updated in some 25 years, which would have considerable ramifications for things like healthcare and special education costs.
In the recommendations, the budget review commission suggests adjusting health insurance costs to more accurately reflect the current state GIC rates, and to add health insurance for retired employees to budgeting. Health insurance inflation would also be calculated separately from the rest of the budget under the recommendations. In other areas, Other proposals include changing the assumed in-district special education cost from an assumed 15% of students to 16%, and adding English Language Learners services for vocational students while also adding it as an increment to the state’s base rate per pupil.