Budget Update #2

Budget Update #2 – RSU #38 School Board Budget Meeting, February 3, 2016

To view the video of the budget workshop, as well as all supporting materials, please go to www.maranacook.org/budget

“Promoting student success for all while maintaining fiscal responsibility”

The second RSU #38 budget meeting was held on February 3, 2016. At this meeting the General Fund Summary Budget, Original Request #2 was presented. Version 2 shows a 1% decrease from the first version. The decrease of $148,921 resulted from dropping the projected increase in health insurance costs from an expected 10% increase to an expected 6% increase. We made this decrease when we received a positive experience rating from the insurance company. This represented a savings of $76,096. However, we have still not received final word on our increase. In addition, we learned that the interest on several bonds that are outstanding was reduced. This resulted in a savings of $72, 825.

This positive movement, however, was clouded with the news that our state subsidy has been reduced significantly. Subsidy is figured based on many factors, two of which are enrollment and valuation. Last year we graduated a large number of seniors. This year our PreK population is fairly low. In addition, the valuations of two of our towns, Mt. Vernon and Manchester have increased, with the district total increasing by .89%. The resulting decrease in subsidy is over $400,000. This is a preliminary figure and we can only hope that the outlook improves as we proceed through the budget process.

At the February 3 budget meeting, administrators continued with their budget presentations. Director of Technology, Diane MacGregor presented the Technology Budget 02/03/16, first sharing information about student participation in the Hour of Code, an on-line program where students learn about and practice coding. Her budget requests focus on 4 areas, an intra office network uninterrupted power supply (UPS) which would take over during short power outages, and additional wireless access points in the elementary schools which would allow for better connectivity in the elementary schools. Ms. MacGregor has also included four SmartBoards in her budget. Last summer Kents Hill School donated several used SmartBoards to the district and teachers are enthused about the increased instructional opportunities offered by those boards. Ms. Jennifer Galletta spoke on her use of the SmartBoard to teach students to use protractors, as required in the fourth grade math curricula.

Finally Ms. MacGregor shared the plan to purchase new laptops for the grades PreK-5 teachers. These teachers are currently using the seven year old laptops that were handed down from the middle school. The laptops are breaking down and require major attention to keep them going. In addition, teachers are not able to access district curriculum that is stored on our website due to limitations of the browsers, and they will not be able to enter data into our district student information system.

Ryan Meserve, Director of Special Education presented the Special Education Budget 02/03/16. This included a full time nurse that would meet the needs of a special education student and an additional educational technician who is also needed to meet student needs. In addition he has included in the special education budget a special education speech assistant who is needed to address student needs in the area of speech.

I presented the English Language Learners Budget 02/03/16 (ELLs) that is based on the restructuring of the department this year. Last year the ELL program consisted of a proposed half time elementary teacher and a part time educational technician. The law requires that the teachers working with ELL students be fully certified in ELL, so last year the Board created a .8 FTE ELL teaching position. There is an increase in the ELL budget but it is due to the change in staffing and benefits of the staff member.

Nancy Harriman, Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction presented the Gifted and Talented Budget 02/03/16 that includes supplies, and the benefits and salaries of 2.2 FTE. The budget request is less than last year due to a reduction in a .5 staffing position. The request allows us to meet the needs of our GT students.

A Summary of Budget Requests 02/03/16 on the budgets presented to date was included in the packet information along with the Revenue Summary 02/03/16. This shows the $203,067 additional state subsidy that was provided to RSU #38 after the FY16 budget was passed, as a balance forward figure in the 2016-2017 column. The sheet includes the required local dollar match, the local only debt, and the additional local dollars figures.

On February 24, 2016 administrators and directors will present original request budgets in the areas of Co and Extra Curricular, Operations and Maintenance, Transportation, Adult Education, Food Service, Health, Professional Development/Curriculum, Systems Administration, and Debt Service. There will be a time for citizen comment as well as Board discussion. I urge you to attend the remaining budget meetings on February 24, and every Wednesday in March. Budget meetings begin at 6:30 in the student center at Maranacook Community High School. The Board welcomes your input. If you are unable to attend the meetings they can be viewed on the link at the top of this page.

Sincerely,

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