Monty Tech Budget Proposal Calls for 3.6% Increase
FITCHBURG -- Monty Tech has proposed a $28.7 million budget for the next school year, an increase of about 3.6 percent.
The finance committees from the 18 cities and towns belonging to the regional vocational technical school district will review the budget, which is expected by June. Two-thirds of the communities need to approve it.
“It’s typically a pretty long process, so we’re getting started now,” said School Committee Chair Brian Walker.
In the budget, instruction accounts for about 51 percent of spending, followed by staff benefits, maintenance, and pupil services, according to the school’s 2019-2020 educational plan.
Monty Tech’s total assessment is $10.9 million, up 3.3 percent from the previous school year.
The assessment is the district’s required minimum contribution under state law and transportation, operation, capital, and bond costs.
“Overall everyone is concerned about net school spending and whether we’re above or below it,” Walker said, referring to discussion the committee had at its Wednesday meeting.
Fitchburg’s assessment is $1.9 million, which is a 5.8 percent increase. The city tends to pay the highest assessment because about a quarter of the students enrolled at Monty Tech are from Fitchburg.
Here is a breakdown of the assessments for other communities the school serves:
* Ashburnham: $510,715, a 2 percent increase
* Ashby: $334,339, a 14 percent increase
* Lunenburg: $783,987, a 4.4 percent decrease
* Westminster: $661,410, a 6.2 percent decrease
The School Committee also talked about how to use excess and deficiency funds -- money left over from the previous year -- to help lower assessments, Walker said.
For revenue, the school estimated that it will receive about $15,280 in Chapter 70 school funding from the state -- an increase of nearly $550,000 from the previous year.
Monty Tech’s revenue sources come from state aid and community assessments. There was also $250,000 for excess and deficiency funds.
Fitchburg is expected to enroll six more students and Ashby will add three more next school year, according to the educational plan.
Lunenburg will enroll eight less students while Ashburnham and Westminster will have five less at Monty Tech next year.
Historically, overall enrollment at the school has decreased since Fiscal 2017. That year, it was 1,436 compared to 1,423 for Fiscal 2020.
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