Budget Update #4- 3/1/17

Budget Update #4 – RSU #38 Budget Workshop, March 1, 2017

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

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

Final administrative budget proposals were presented to the RSU #38 School Board on March 1, 2017. These are Original Request proposals and represent what administrators feel is needed in their area. As in the past years, these budgets will be reexamined, prioritized, and revisions will be made in order to present a final budget that meets the Board goal of Promoting student success in all areas as we strive for academic excellence while maintaining fiscal responsibility. 

We recently received the preliminary ED279, a document that reports anticipated state subsidy for RSU #38. This year the ED279 reflects 48 changes as requested from the Governor. These changes will need to be acted on by the legislature, and we believe that there will be some changes. The RSU #38 ED279 for FY 18 reports a decrease in subsidy of $228,268.21. We are hoping that this is the worst case scenario and that in the final ED279 our decrease will not be as severe. However, at this point, we have to plan according to the preliminary ED279.

We still have not been notified of the increase in health insurance premiums and continue to include a 10% increase in our FY18 budget proposal.

The Participation Fee and Late Bus Committee reported out on their recommendation to the RSU #38 School Board. This committee was appointed by the School Board and charged with studying the participation fee and late bus situation. The Committee reached agreement and recommended that there be no late bus and no participation fee in FY18. The RSU #38 School Board will consider this recommendation as the budget development process continues.

The proposals presented on March 1, 2017 are as follows:

MS/HS Co and Extra Curricular Summary Budget: This budget reflects salary and benefit increases for staff and coaches. In addition, there is an increase of $4,900 in order to re-instate 7th grade soccer as an offering for our students.

Maintenance Summary Budget: Summer projects are included in this budget such as the required removal of underground tanks, parking lot, and driveway repairs throughout the district, routine painting, well work at Readfield, and water pump work at MCMS. The budget proposal also includes some new equipment and furniture, an expansion of the HVAC maintenance contract, and summer employees to work on grounds.

Transportation Summary Budget: The FY 18 transportation budget includes funding for field trips for the elementary school students and advisee day out trips for middle and high school students. It also includes salary and benefit increases. This budget also includes 5 current bus leases and 2 new bus leases. Buses cost approximately $88,000 each, and the lease expenditures are based on 4 year leases. We have been approved by the state for reimbursement of 1 new bus in FY18, so we will be revisiting this part of the budget request as we revise the budget proposal.

Adult and Community Education: State mandates now require that HiSet testing for diplomas be administered and completed online. The FY18 Adult Education budget proposal includes the purchase of two new computers for this purpose, as well as increased administrative support time that is necessary due to increased requirements and duties.

Food Service Operations Budget: The total expenditure budget for food service remains the same in FY18 as in FY17. This program continues to run in the black due to the diligent efforts of Food Service Director, Jeff Bridges, and his dedicated staff.

Health Services Summary Budget: The slight increase in the health services budget is due to salary and benefits, and the proposed purchase of a pediatric digital audiometer. Revised state law requires vision and hearing screening for PreK students within 30 days of the start of the school year. District screening tools are outdated and we have been using Head Start equipment for the last several years. Head Start will not be providing RSU #38 with services in FY18 so it is necessary to purchase this equipment in order to comply with state mandates.

District Professional Development Budget: This budget reflects increases for summer professional development for staff due to anticipated decreases in federal grant funding.

District Assessment Summary Budget: Individual school districts are now responsible for providing funding to cover costs for PSATs for high school students. The increase in this budget reflects these costs as well as increases in salary and benefits for staff.

District Curriculum Summary Budget: This budget covers salary and benefits for content area coaches, curriculum leadership, and for summer curriculum work.

System Administration Budget: This budget covers school board expenses, including legal fees, and central office staff and administration (except special education).

Debt Service Budget: The middle school construction bond, the athletic field construction bond, and the high school renovations bond are covered in this budget. These bonds were voted on and approved by citizens of RSU #38. This budget also includes lease purchase agreements for buses.

The Board discussed major repairs and renovations that will be needed in the next few years and how they will be funded. They discussed options for bonding or lease purchasing. The Board voted to pursue bonding for these projects.

The following documents were also distributed at the March 1, 2017 School Board meeting:

RSU #38 Lease Purchase Agreements

Debt Retirement

RSU #38 Regular Education Instructional Staff

The RSU #38 School Board and Selectpersons from the four towns will meet at the next scheduled School Board meeting on March 15, 2017 to discuss the RSU #38 FY18 Budget Proposal. I would like to invite all citizens of RSU #38 to participate in this important budget meeting. As in all of our budget meetings, there will be a sign-up sheet for any citizen who wishes to offer comments and input during the budget development process.

Sincerely,

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