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Northwood teachers could get first contract in a few years

It will be the first time in roughly three years Northwood teachers have a contract if residents approve the proposed agreement Tuesday, said Northwood School Board member Dave Ruth. Voters have rejected the past few contracts presented by the district, he said.

The proposed one-year contract was recommended unanimously by the school board and town budget committee. If approved, residents would pay $187,900 next year, an estimated tax increase of $0.39 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The new contract offers teachers raises and the district savings on health care costs, Ruth said.

Residents will also consider a one-year support staff contract that would cost just under $50,000 and have an estimated tax impact of $0.10 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

The proposed budget, at $11.88 million, is roughly $364,000 less than that the current budget. It’s a decrease for three main reasons, said Marjorie Whitmore, business administrator for SAU 44.

Employees haven’t gotten annual salary step increases, she said, since teachers and support staff haven’t had a contract in a number of years. Health care costs went down 0.4 percent, “which is unheard of,” Whitmore said. Also, the town pays tuition to send its students to Coe-Brown Northwood Academy. Next year, Northwood enrollment numbers are down, Ruth said.

The estimated tax impact of the budget is a decrease of $0.11 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

∎ Residents will also consider expanding kindergarten to a full day at a cost of $45,000 next year.

∎ Contested elections: None.

∎ Ballot Voting: Tuesday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Joseph Parish Center, 844 First NH Turnpike.

ALLIE MORRIS

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