By Chris Lisinski
GROTON -- If the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District has its way, the timeline of the towns budgeting process would get pushed back to match up more closely with the schools.
The district asked the Charter Review Committee to consider pushing back the due date of the town managers budget proposal from Dec. 31, where it currently stands, to Feb. 15. That request was the subject of a Wednesday joint meeting between the Charter Review Committee, the Finance Committee and members of the Board of Selectmen.
No final action was taken -- a more concrete decision will come at the July 6 Charter Review Committee meeting -- though the various officials debated the merits of such a change for almost two hours.
The school district believes such a change would allow the town to build a budget based on a more accurate estimate of what is needed to fund the schools. Currently, the town uses an estimate from the schools because the district cannot finalize its budget until it learns what it will receive in state aid, usually around January.
School Committee Chairman Jeff Kubick said that the change would also help avoid a perception that the school district is solely responsible for any financial challenges.
If you have a Dec. 31 budget that gets set by the municipal side and then the school district comes in after that and theres any variability, the perception there is that the school is requesting cuts to the town budget, he said.