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Manchester School District Grapples With Projected $6M Budget Shortfall

Jason Moon for NHPR

Parents, teachers, and city officials met in Manchester last night to discuss a projected six million dollar budget gap for the Manchester school district.

In recent years the Manchester school district, the state’s largest, has been beset by declining enrollment, reduced aid from the state, and rising pension costs. Those trends have now added up to a projected budget gap for next year of six million dollars. That’s out of a total operating budget of around 180 million dollars.

New Manchester superintendent Bolgen Vargas told the crowd at Parkside Middle School that when it comes to potential cuts, at this point everything is on the table.

But he also pointed to bright spots in the district and appealed for a constructive dialogue going forward.

“We need together to think positive and think about what we have. And not to carry the conversation throughout the year about what we don’t have. Because we have more than we think we have.”

Vargas will present a budget proposal to the school board and the board of alderman sometime this spring.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.
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