SHEFFIELD -- The town of Monterey will bear the largest assessment increase in the Southern Berkshire Regional School District's budget that will be going before town voters.
The School Committee approved a $14.6 million budget for fiscal 2014, representing an overall 2.18 percent increase, on Thursday. Monterey's assessment is scheduled to increase 11.6 percent.
School Committee Member Maria Rundle, of Monterey, who expressed support for the budget described the assessment increase as "sobering."
The Select Board has been presented with the figure and they've been accepting of it, she said, but they've also asked for additional details on the reason behind the increase.
Business administrator Bruce Turner is scheduled to provide a future presentation to elaborate on a new state formula that arrives at what towns in a school district get charged.
"I haven't encountered anyone that hasn't been very reasonable," Rundle said.
In fiscal 2013, Monterey's assessment increased 4.5 percent.
As for Southern Berkshire Regional's four other towns, the assessments are scheduled to change as follows: Egremont, 4 percent; Sheffield, 2.5 percent, New Marlborough, 0.08 percent. Alford's assessment would decrease 19 percent.
Four of five towns would need to pass the budget at town meeting for it to be approved.
The budget includes a $14,000 allocation for curriculum program material related to the newly adopted Common Core K-6 math
Schools are teaching the Common Core requirement, but the schools haven't implemented a comprehensive curriculum program, according to Elementary Math Curriculum Commmittee Chairwoman Jennifer DeAngelo
In the proposed budget, the district designated about $20,000 for an extended-year program for elementary school students.
"It's reflecting what all most current research is saying about a quality learning experience," Rundle said.
Earlier this year, school officials projected a $90,000 deficit in the district's cafeteria program, but Finance Committee Chairman Vito Valentini previously stated that the district did not allocate any additional funding in fiscal 2014.
The cafeteria program is being internally reviewed by Superintendent Michael Singleton and Business Administrator Bruce Turner, he previously said, and school officials advised that it was not necessary at this time.
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