Budget Update #10- 5/17/17

Budget Update #10 – RSU #38 Annual Meeting, May 17, 2017

To view the Eighth Annual Report as well as the video, and supporting budget materials, please go to www.maranacook.org/budget

 “Promoting student success in all areas as we strive for academic excellence while maintaining fiscal responsibility”

The Annual Meeting to approve the RSU #38 FY18 Budget was held on May 17, 2017.  A review of the budget process was explained by Board Chair Terri Watson, and I provided some district history on subsidy, enrollment, and past expenditure budgets.  These documents are all available on our website with the budget information that has been provided throughout the budget development process.

As we proceeded through the articles several questions were asked.  First, there was a question about what we would do with any additional money that we might receive after the legislature adopts a state budget.  Article 18 addresses this question and was passed during this meeting.  The article states that any unanticipated increase in the adjusted state contribution under the Essential Programs and Services funding model “will reduce the amount raised and assessed as each municipality’s contribution to the total cost of funding public education from prekindergarten to grade 12 as described in the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act…”  This means that if we receive additional money it can only be used to reduce the amount of local dollars that towns will be required to pay.

Another question focused on why the expenditures required to operate the district exceed the funds required by essential programs and services in the areas of systems administration and instruction.  Several factors contribute to the additional costs such as the Governor’s elimination of all funds for system administration in the funding formula and the costs required to operate our four small elementary schools.  In addition, several interventionist positions have been added in the past years to support students as we move to the proficiency based diploma.

A community member asked how the work at Manchester Elementary was funded as the projects were not included in the FY17 budget.  It was explained that because the funds were needed for the Manchester project, other projects were postponed.  An example of this was the tennis court project that was postponed.

A question was asked about why the girls’ lacrosse team could use the Maranacook fields and the boys’ team had to pay to use the Kents Hill fields (see Al MacGregor’s explanation below).

“Boys and girls LAX was approved by the board so the teams would be sanctioned and could play against other high schools under the MPA rules. It was approved with the understanding that all games and practices would be in Augusta and there would be no cost to the school. The middle school soccer field was made available for the teams to practice on so the kids would not have to travel to Augusta each day after school. The practice field does not meet the required MPA specifications to hold a varsity boys’ or varsity girls’ lacrosse game. The girls play on the field because it is a JV level contest and does not count towards the MPA heal points for play-offs. When the girls eventually become a varsity level team they will not be playing games on the Maranacook field.  They will either have to try to schedule at Kents Hill or in Augusta on a regulation-sized field.”

When lacrosse was approved by the RSU #38 School Board several years ago it was approved as a non-funded sport which means that participants have to cover the costs for the sport. Those making the request for lacrosse also stated that the teams would not be using Maranacook fields.   The Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) rules for lacrosse specify the size of the field.  RSU #38 tries to work with teams to provide fields, when possible, but district-funded teams have first priority for fields.  Often there is a small field that is not being used and that small field meets the requirements for girls’ junior varsity lacrosse, but not boys’ varsity lacrosse.  Therefore the girls can play on the small field when it is available, but the boys teams have to play off campus if a field is not available.

Articles 1 through 20 were voted on and approved by the voters at the Annual Meeting.  I would like to thank the citizens who attended the meeting and those that support the FY18 RSU #38 School Budget.  The referendum on the FY18 RSU #38 School Budget will be held at town voting places on June 13, 2017.

Sincerely,

Donna H. Wolfrom, Ed.D.
Superintendent of School