8 - November 18, 2011 | Hudson - Litchfield News School Budget Increase of 1.74% now Seeks Budget Committee Approval
by Doug Robinson “This has been the hardest and most arduous budget with which
I have ever been involved. It is an austerity budget,” commented Hudson School Superintendent, Randy Bell. When all the crunching of numbers was completed, the Hudson
School Board approved a budget of $45,776,238. This budget represents an increase over this year’s budget of approximately $800,000, or 1.74 percent.
Projected enrollment numbers for 2012-2013 school years reflects Hudson with only an increase of a few students. The fine print of the School Department’s budget reflects a $941,000 voter approved pay raise for teachers for next year At the 11th hour of School Board Budget discussions, School Administrators learned that their estimate of a 5 percent increase in health insurance costs was too low. For previous years, Hudson has realized an average 4.7 percent increase with health insurance costs, thus, the 5 percent budgeted number was felt to be prudent among board members. Due to this increase, health costs associated with salaries are now realized to be an additional $148,000 over the estimated budget. According to school Superintendent Bell, $98,000 of this
cost would be directly picked up by Hudson taxpayers, and the remaining $50,000 would not affect Hudson taxpayers as this amount would be funded by the federal government. As a result of the health care cost increase, School Board Members and SAU Administrators needed to back to the proverbial chalkboard
anticipated salary losses. Each year, teachers retire, resign, and when new teachers are hired, they are usually hired at a lower rate of pay. “I am extremely sensitive the number of staff members we have hired to teach our children. Before we re-hire for any position which has resigned, we will fully evaluate the need of that position,” commented Bell. Here, School officials reduced their estimates from $500,000 to $250,000 in salary attrition from hiring new teachers and teacher attrition.
At the other end of the budget food line are those who challenge
Hudson School Principals meet with the Hudson School Boards and members of Hudson’s SAU. Seated are School Board Member Laura Bisson (in the red), followed by Karen Burnell, SAU Business Administrator, Randy Bell, School Superintendent, Chairman School Committee, Lee Lavoie,
Principal Peter Doors, Amy Sousa, School Board Member, P rincipal Lois Connors, and Principal Marilyn Martellini. Seated at the front table are Principal Bryan Lane, and Principal Sue Nadeau.
sharpen their budget pencils and rework the budget. The untouchable budget line of salaries represented a 2.76
percent increase as these funds were voter approved. In an effort of offset the increase with the Health Care Line, administrators and School Board members cut office expenses by $20,000, supplies by $40,000, Professional Development by $44,000. In addition, budget cuts were also made with regards to
the town’s cost per pupil financial numbers. The State of NH has approximately 175 school districts. In the State of NH, the Town of Hudson has consistently maintained one of the lowest costs per pupil educated. The Town of Hudson has approximately 4,100 students. During 2010, Hudson’s cost per pupil was $9,019, or the second lowest cost per pupil of all school districts in the state of NH. As a comparison, Pelham’s cost per pupil was $9,636 and Salem was $9,944. Litchfield was $10,829. Windham was $12,908. During 2011, Hudson’s cost per pupil was $9,641 or fifth from the bottom of all 275 School Districts. Educators and school board members challenge these numbers as being not inclusive for all costs to the education of a child, or more importantly, if our cost per child is so low, what are other districts offering that we are not. Are we sacrificing cost per child with a fully complimented education? “Will our low cost per child affect future generations” concerns School Board Member, Amy Sousa. The budgetary process of the Hudson School Board Budget moved onto the Hudson Budget Committee, Thursday, November 17.
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AHS School Resource Officer Hosts Visit From NH State Police Forensic Laboratory
by Doug Robinson Students of Alvirne High School were offered the opportunity to learn firsthand the responsibilities and duties of the NH State Police Forensic Laboratory. School Resource Officer John Mirabella, with cooperation from the Hudson Police Department and AHS Administration, hosted the event to students who have already taken chemistry, physics, and biology and criminal justice courses. “We focus on chemistry,” commented Tim Pifer, Laboratory Directory. “Unlike the popular television shows, CSI and Bones, our job is pretty routine. Unlike those shows, we do not question suspects and we do not tell the police what to do. The police are in charge at all times. We no dot extract DNA from mosquitoes and each of the employees who works at the Laboratory has undergone extensive background checks.” The lab is broken down into two
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SRO Officer John Mirabella welcomes Timothy Pifer, Director NH Forensic Laboratory at the meeting’s beginning
divisions: Criminalistics Group and the Toxicology Group. The Criminalistic group involves the investigation and analysis of firearms, control drugs, DNA, Identifications by footprint or fingerprint, Trace Analysis and Digital Photography. The Toxicology Group involves the analysis of Blood, Urine, and Breath Alcohol. “Every criminal scene is different and our
employees are tasked with the job to be problem solvers. Each year our workload
has increased 5 percent. Fingerprints are still the #1 means to identify the criminal. Even though DNA is helpful, we rely on fingerprints to absolutely identify the suspect. Identical twins comprise the same DNA, however, each twin will have their own, specific finger print and toe print. This also includes a hand print and a palm print.” The State Police Forensic Laboratory
also works and help train police officers with the handling and collection of evidence. “It is the goal of the State of NH Department of Safety, Division of State Police Forensic Laboratory to handle and analyze evidence from criminal matters in a manner that will minimize loss, contamination and or deleterious change.” During 2010 the Forensic laboratory processed over 11,000 urine toxologies and over 7,000 marijuana/cocaine investigations.
Students were offered the opportunity to view actual slides from actual crimes.
Te measurements and analysis of this footprint led to a guilty verdict in the trial
Types of DNA are listed for the students to view
Community Development Room Named After Paul W. Buxton
by Doug Robinson The Hudson Board of Selectmen officially dedicated the Community Development meeting room at Town Hall after Paul W. Buxton.
“Hudson is a better place today because of people like Paul Buxton,” writes Hudson resident Howard Dilworth. In a letter addressed to the Hudson Board of Selectman, Dilworth proposed that the town name the Community Development room at town hall after Paul W. Buxton. Dilworth gives “credit for the idea” to Hudson employee, Donna Staffier-Sommers According to Dilworth, Buxton joined the Hudson Hose Company, a private fire brigade, upon his return from World War I (the Hudson Fire Department wasn’t created until 1924). Buxton served as a member of the fire department for over 60 years. “Like
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many members of the fire department from that era, community service was something that came as second nature.” Paul Buxton served for many years as the Chairman of the Hudson Planning Board and in the role was instrumental in the creation and adoption of our first zoning ordinance in 1942. Recognizing that portions of planning extended beyond the boundaries of the town, Buxton has been credited as being the founder and driving force behind the creation of the Nashua Regional Planning Commission in 1958. The regional planning commissions that make up the State of New Hampshire are based on what was started here in 1958. “Paul Buxton was a found member of the Hudson Historical Society. For all this a more, it’s time that the Town of Hudson did something to preserve the memory of someone who gave so much to his community.” The engraved plaque will soon be mounted in the Community Development Room honoring Paul W. Buxton.
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