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Assessment levels linked to stimulus aid; Superintendent wary of `mini-AIG'.

Byline: Lisa D. Welsh

HOLDEN Holden, town (1990 pop. 14,628), Worcester co., central Mass., a residential suburb of Worcester; settled 1723, set off and inc. 1741. Manufactures include electrical and metal products, plastics, and machinery.  - The Wachusett Regional School District

Main article: Wachusett Regional High School
Wachusett Regional School District was founded in 1955 and is comprised of Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, and Sterling, Massachusetts.
 has set a fiscal 2010 budget of $74.1 million, which will represent a 3.56 percent increase in assessments for each of the five towns in the district.

But before the

towns vote on the budget at town meetings, the assessments could be level-funded - reduced to 2009 figures - depending on how school officials are allowed to use federal stimulus stimulus /stim·u·lus/ (stim´u-lus) pl. stim´uli   [L.] any agent, act, or influence which produces functional or trophic reaction in a receptor or an irritable tissue.  money.

"We know we're we're  

Contraction of we are.

we're we are
 getting federal stimulus money, but we haven't been told how we can spend it," said Wachusett Superintendent Thomas (language) Thomas - A language compatible with the language Dylan(TM). Thomas is NOT Dylan(TM).

The first public release of a translator to Scheme by Matt Birkholz, Jim Miller, and Ron Weiss, written at Digital Equipment Corporation's Cambridge Research Laboratory runs
 G. Pandiscio.

"Our goal is to level-fund the assessment prior to town meetings, but we are waiting for various rules to be written on what we can legally and prudently use the stimulus money for to offset expenses," he said.

"I don't want to find out that I've spent money inappropriately, that special ed money was put into the wrong category, and end up with my own mini-AIG," he said.

"We're not getting the rules, but it's time It's Time was a successful political campaign run by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) under Gough Whitlam at the 1972 election in Australia. Campaigning on the perceived need for change after 23 years of conservative (Liberal Party of Australia) government, Labor put forward a  when we have to make our (budget) decisions. It's frustrating frus·trate  
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart:

The new budget year begins on July 1.

The superintendent had been asked by officials in Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland and Sterling to level-fund this year's budget.

The School Committee kept operations costs to a 0.83 percent increase, managed a 1.68 percent increase for the overall budget, and cut some expenses.

The superintendent said at least $1 million in concessions were made by unions.

Last year, salaries increased by more than $2 million, and this year the increase was kept to $548,753 through benefits and salary leveling and eliminating three teaching positions because of declining student enrollment.

Roughly half of the increase in expenses is attributable to the fiscal 2010 debt payment of $2,547,123 on the high school renovation project.

"Towns have known that this major debt would come up this year, but it came at a real bad time," Mr. Pandiscio said.

Although some budget categories have been reduced from fiscal 2009 levels and some were reduced below fiscal 2007 levels, changes in state aid wiped out those savings.

Though Chapter 70 state aid was level-funded statewide, the Wachusett district is receiving $1.39 million less in fiscal 2010 than fiscal 2009 because of the formula used to distribute the money.

The district will also receive $1,014,887 less in fiscal 2010 than this year in Chapter 71 state aid for transportation.

School officials expect the federal stimulus package will make up for some of the shortfalls, but that has not been determined.

"Using federal money this way is all brand new," Mr. Pandiscio said.

"Thank God that we are getting this money, but it is coming to us in ways that we don't typically see federal money coming."


CUTLINE: WRSD WRSD Wachusett Regional School District (towns of Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, and Sterling, MA)  budget

PHOTOG pho·tog  
n. Informal
A person who takes photographs, especially as a profession; a photographer.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 26, 2009
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