Back to the drawing board for Berkshire Hills Regional School District budget


GREAT BARRINGTON -- True to sentiments expressed a few weeks ago, the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee agreed to meet on April 10 to begin discussions on potential ways to build next year’s annual school budget.

The committee adopted a $23.36 million final budget following an extended round of discussion.

Among the points several committee members raised during that span was a suggestion to attempt to work a budget based on the financial constraints of the district’s member towns.

Those member towns are Great Barrington, Stockbridge and West Stockbridge.

This year’s budget, while approved by the committee, still represented an overall increase in assessments of 4.65 percent in Great Barrington, 13.16 percent in West Stockbridge and 2.08 percent in Stockbridge.

The Great Barrington Finance Committee recently voted 3-2 not to recommend the school budget be passed.

On Thursday night, superintendent Peter Dillon asked school committee members for ideas and suggestion before the April 10 meeting.

"It was a frustrating process," said Dillon, "and we’d like to try to find a way to make it work better."

Several school committee members suggested the district administration set up a budget within financial parameters set by the town, such as limiting the overall increase to two or three percent.

Dillon, responding to that suggestion, said he was not opposed to trying that method.

In other business on Thursday, the committee approved a district plan to set up a four-day field trip to Washington D.C. for the district’s eighth-grade students next year. The cost is $660, and financial aid is available.

Berkshire Hills has not had the annual trip for several years, specifically since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.


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