December 20, 2007 
Goffstown may pass school costs to other towns

Goffstown News Correspondent

Goffstown may start passing onto New Boston and Dunbarton the costs of some services it provides to the schools previously not charged under a “gentlemen’s agreement.”

At the Board of Selectmen meeting on Dec. 10, Selectmen Scott Gross suggested the idea of billing the school district for providing the school resource officer, which is currently absorbed under the town’s police department budget.

The schools would then eventually include this cost in its calculation of what it charges New Boston and Dunbarton students, which have area agreements to send its middle and high school students to Goffstown middle and high schools.

This would not make the school or town budgets look any better, explained Gross, but it would save Goffstown taxpayers a portion of the expense of the school resource officer.

This idea had also been brought up before the budget committee to add this cost to the school budget.

The selectmen also brought up other services the town provides to the schools but doesn’t charge for, such as maintenance of the athletic fields, trash and recycling pick up, and snow plowing, but decided to start with looking at the cost of the school resource officer.

According to Town Administrator Sue Desruisseaux, who was asked to draw up the average cost of a police officer including benefits, the town would bill about $62,000 for providing a school resource officer.

About 30 percent of Goffstown High School students and about 20 percent of Mountain View Middle School students are from New Boston and Dunbarton.

SAU 19 Superintendent Dr. Darrell Lockwood said this was not a new idea and had been brought up before in the 20 years since the “gentlemen’s agreement” took effect.

Spread out over the entire school district, the cost of the school resource officer, per pupil, would be pretty insignificant, Lockwood said, but he didn’t want to comment further until he had more information.


Reproduced by the Goffstown Residents Association.


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