, Newburyport, MA

February 6, 2013

Winnacunnet deliberative session meets tonight

By Angeljean Chiaramida

---- — SEABROOK — Residents from all the towns sending students to Winnacunnet High School will have their last chance tonight to weigh in on next year’s cooperative school district budget articles before they head to a vote March 12.

Winnacunnet’s deliberative session begins at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the high school on Alumni Drive in Hampton. Only registered voters from the communities of Seabrook, Hampton, Hampton Falls and North Hampton may vote on issues raised at the deliberative session.

The first warrant article is the school district’s proposed operating budget of $22,499,203. If the article fails to win support from all of the towns in the cooperative district at the polls next month, an even higher default budget of $22,566,592 will go into effect.

Article 2 requests $80,000 for the second year of the heating/ventilation/air conditioning upgrade at Winnacunnet High.

Article 3 seeks $50,000 for the School Building Maintenance Expendable Trust Fund, funded by the unreserved fund balance.

Article 4 seeks $50,000 for the Special Education Expendable Trust Fund, funded by the unreserved fund balance.

Article 5 requests approval to create a technology expendable trust fund to purchase future equipment and software, and an appropriation of $90,000 to come from the unreserved fund balance.

The Winnacunnet warrant also carries four citizen’s petition articles:

The first citizen’s request aims to require Winnacunnet High to teach all the required core subjects of math, English, social studies and science throughout the academic year as the top 10 highest performing schools in New Hampshire. If approved, the requirement would begin in the 2013/14 school year.

Article 7 would require the school district to adhere to the terms of the Seacoast Education Association’s teachers contract, which stipulates that junior and senior high school teachers in the district have an uninterrupted preparation period of a specified length each day.

Article 8 would forbid the use of “taxpayer-funded political advocacy” by allowing district employees to use “paid personal days” to hold signs in support of candidates or ballot measures on election day at the polls, compulsory “union dues” in which the funds are shown to be contributed to candidates promoted by teacher union officials and “socialist advocacy in public schools.”

Article 9 asks voters to adopt the provisions of RSA194-C:9-b, which would allow the insertion of SAU 21’s school administrative budget as a separate warrant article at annual school district meetings.