|McCann School Committee Approves $11.5M Fiscal 2024 Budget|
|By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff|
03:21PM / Monday, March 13, 2023
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The McCann Technical School budget is up just under 8 percent for the coming year largely because of contractual salary obligations, vocational and educational supplies, utilities and the addition of two more instructors.
The School Committee on Thursday approved the $11.5 million fiscal 2024 budget, of which about $4 million will be raised through assessments on its nine member communities. That's up about $320,502, or 8 percent, over this year.
Daniel Maloney Jr., chair of the Finance Committee, said the $842,575 increase was also driven by inflation and increases for health insurance, as well as an additional 15 students next year for a total in-district enrollment of 501.
The added positions will be for the new heating and air conditioning program and in information technology.
"As you know, we don't have a dedicated person who does IT in the building. Our two instructors have split the duties for years," said Maloney, adding that the complexity of the network and its devices requires more attention.
"We talked about this before, that when you add another person to the staff it drives costs up but it's at the point right now where it needs to done. ... You can't do two things at the same time: try to keep the building running if something goes down as well as teach our students."
A third instructor will also help with getting IT students working outside the school since they will be able go in smaller groups, he said.
He noted that the district has been able to drop the total community assessments closer to the state-mandated minimum spending, declining from $537,000 over minimum to $112,000 over for next year. Overall, the fiscal 2024 budget is about $900,000 over net school spending.
"I don't think there's a school district in the state that has an over-the-minimum assessment anywhere near that $112,000, they're probably all million dollars over the minimum," Maloney said.
State Chapter 70 school aid is projected to be up almost $600,000 from this year at $6,841,032 and transportation aid up $25,000 at $336,288.
Superintendent James Brosnan said the school was also able to offset some of its increases through grants, other revenues and cutting back from capital spending, which is down $7,680, or nearly 30 percent.
"One line we put back in is additional revenues ($14,864). These are funds that would be interest on our accounts, could be sales of scrap metal, it could be any of those miscellaneous kinds of things because this, again, is money that we don't have to go back to our communities and say, 'Oh, I need another $15,000,'" he said. "These are things that we know that we're sure they're going come in, and we'll use them as a revenue source to fund the budget."
The superintendent also pointed out that the school has been able to refund transportation money to the towns over the years when the second payment of the state's Chapter 71 transportation aid comes in. In 2022, the district returned $114,503 in excess transportation funds.
Municipal assessments are determined proportionally by enrollment and account for instruction, transportation, and capital spending.
"The student population drives the dollars in the calculation," Brosnan said. "These are numbers we received from the state. We don't make them up. They just deliver to us and we plug them in."
North Adams has the highest enrollment at 164, or about a third of the school. It's assessment is actually down $47,492, or almost 5 percent, from this year at $984,853. Adams is second highest with 139 students with a projected assessment of $978,048. The smallest enrollment is five from Monroe with an assessment to that town of $41,717.
Brosnan expected to give the first presentations of the budget to Adams and Williamstown by the end of the month.
In other business, the committee applauded the launch of the new website overseen by Michelle Ells, executive assistant to the superintendent.
McCann Technical School Ass... by iBerkshires.com