School Enrollment Growth Creates Strain on 2014 Budget
Brookline has survived the recession through budgeting.
Town Administrator Mel Kleckner presented the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget and Financial Plan to the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday evening.
Kleckner told the board that he expects all sources of revenue to increase for 2014, with a $257.4 million budget, which is a 2.5 percent increase from FY 2013.
School enrolment continues to spiral upwards, creating significant strain on operating and capital budgets. Since FY 2005, enrollment has increased by 1,166 students, or thirty percent, requiring 46 new classrooms.
Created an offset formula to offset department budget. Six hundred and sixty six new Kindergarten student entered the school systems in 2013. The K-8 classes increased from 240 to 5,067. Kleckner said that this is expected to continue into 2020, when the student population is estimated to reach 5,900.
Kleckner said that much of the town’s economic success has come from one-time capital improvement projects at Fisher Hill and the Devotion School. Those projects boosted the budget by 4.4 percent. Another boost came from Governor Deval Patrick’s budget proposal, which included a $1.75 million in state aid.
This is the third year in a row in which Brookline has seen increases in receipts. The town has $9.6 million in fress cash, keeping the operating revenues above 10 percent. Brookline has maintained their Aaa Bond Rating without cutting major programs, town employees tax overrides or services.
“No town I’ve worked in takes their budgeting as seriously as Brookline does,” Kleckner Said. “It has helped the town survive the major impact of the recession.”