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Westport School looks at across the board cost saving measures

— Board member Jim Carroll said there are still ways teachers can arrange for field trip funding through various state grant programs.

Shared services were also looked at as a means to save money. Gallagher said the school is seriously looking into sharing cafeteria and bus services.

“There are a lot of things we can share,” he said. “We already share our business office and something as simple as sharing meal schedules can be a big savings.”

Gallagher said it is difficult in these times for the state to reduce funding for schools but continue to raise requirements on the staff and the students.

“It costs as much as $50,000 to implement a new (Annual Professional Performance Review), and that’s with staff volunteering their time,” said Gallagher. “The costs aren’t just monetary, for every minute (Principal Michelle Friedman) and I are not doing administrative work. it seems to be a common conversation across the districts.”

By law, school districts must have their budgets in place by April 26, so they can be put to the voters in May.

The board will next meet Thursday, April 25, at 5:30 p.m. in the school library.

Currently there are four draft budget forecasts available for members of the community to view. Copies can be provided at the school and at the public library.

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