Bourne Schools Looking for 4% Budget Increase

BOURNE – The Superintendent of Bourne Public schools is expected to present the budget for next year to the school committee in March and could be asking for a 4%.

Steven Lamarche said they are looking for about $800,000 more than the current year bringing the total to $22.5 million.

The increase is largest asked for during Lamarche’s eight year tenure.

“I don’t foresee this moving forward I just see this one bump in this year,” Lamarche said. “Programmatically we have a couple of needs that have certainly emerged over the past couple of years that really need to be addressed in our budget.”

One of the top priorities in the budget proposal is the expansion of the Bourne Middle School’s Bridge program, which helps students who take extended leaves for several reasons, including medical issues. The program currently offers clinical assistance.

“We are looking to add an academic component to it to ensure a smooth transition,” Lamarche said.

“We’ve received high marks from other similar programs from around the state that continue to work with us to try to have the best program possible, as well as parents who have actually had students involved in our bridge program. This is something we need to continue to support.”

Lamarche said they would also like to add an adjustment counselors at the middle school.

“Right now the middle school is the only school that doesn’t have an adjustment counselor in it,” he said. “We need to really look at adding an adjustment counselor to that program and [we’re] looking for some more support at the high school level.”

Another priority is supporting technology needs within the district.

“We have probably one of the smallest technology departments on the Cape,” Lamarche said.”

Lamarche serves as the director of technology. The school system also has one technician.

“It’s really getting to a point where we need that level of support,” he said.

Lamarche said the ask right now is for an $800,000 increase in the budget, but that number could change.

“We have a whole process that we go through that we don’t just simply ask. We always reduce as well,” he said. “My administrators know that. We know that we have to let things go.

Lamarche said it’s not just a process where we just need to continue to keep things the way they are.

“We need to continue to evolve as a district and the budget drives what we do as a district,” he said.

The school committee will make approvals on the budget in April before it heads to the finance committee.

The recommendations will go before town meeting voters in May.

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