Budget Update #5 – 3/14/2018

Budget Update #5 – RSU #38 School Board Budget Meeting, March 14, 2018

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

The joint Select Boards and the RSU #38 School Board met on March 14, 2018 to review the draft FY19 School Budget.  This meeting was postponed from March 8, 2018 due to a snowstorm.

The budget meeting began with a review of district successes such as the recognition of RSU #38 by Niche.com as being one of the top 10 best school districts to live in, in Maine.  Another success recognized was the continued increase of graduation rates with the 2017 rate calculated by the state as 94.74%.  Our graduation rate has continued to increase since 2011 when the rate was 76.03%.  District athletic teams who have won state championships this year such as the boys’ soccer team and the boys’ Nordic team, and teams that have won sportsmanship awards were recognized.  In addition, four students who are traveling to National Speech and Debate competitions this year, Tyler Dunn, Gavin Diou-Cass, Robert Allen, and Hannah Woodford were celebrated.  Recognition was given to the dual enrollment program at Maranacook Community High School.  This year 40% of our 9th-12th grade students and 60% of our 11th and 12th grade students are participating in dual enrollment courses.  Four students are on track to receive both their Maranacook High School diplomas as well as their Associates Degree from Thomas College in June 2018.  Finally, a partial list of some of the colleges that have accepted RSU #38 seniors was read.  This list includes Bowdoin (3 accepted students), Connecticut College, Dalhousie, Maine Maritime, University of New England, University of Maine schools, Northern Florida, and Virginia Tech.  The list continues to grow as our seniors receive college acceptances.

The budget goal as identified by the RSU #38 School Board was shared: “Promoting student success in all areas as we strive for academic excellence while maintaining fiscal responsibility” as well as the following documents that have been previously shared with the RSU #38 School Board.   The documents were discussed at this joint meeting:

19 State Valuations

19 Enrollment Comparison

RSU #38 Enrollment as of January 11, 2018

19 Budget Subsidy History

General Fund Summary Budget: Original Request Version 2, 2.08.18

New or revised documents were also handed out and discussed:
General Fund Summary Budget, Version 1, 3.14.18 – The administrative team and district managers have been reviewing their budgets and making cuts and changes in order to decrease the impact of the budget on RSU #38 citizens. To date, $960,440 has been cut from the Original Request budget representing a decrease of 1.87% from the original draft budget.

Summary of Budget Changes, March 14, 2018 – This document describes changes in the draft budget as we continue through the budget process.

RSU #38 Maintenance Projects 3.14.18 – Planned projects needed to maintain district facilities safely and efficiently have been reviewed and rescheduled in order to decrease the impact on the FY19 budget.

Maintenance Equipment 3.14.18 – This document provides a list of equipment that remains in the FY19 budget, and equipment that has been eliminated from the budget.

19 New Staff Requests 3.14.18 – Additional staff needs are described that would provide the support necessary to meet legal requirements, support our students, and maintain our grounds and facilities.

19 Revenue Summary 3.14.18 – This document describes the revenues needed to be received to fund district expenditures described in the General Fund School Summary Budget, Version 1.

19 Local Dollar Calculation 3.14.18 – The local dollars necessary to fund the RSU #38 FY19 expenditure budget are listed by district and by town.  The 2018-2019 mill expectation as required by the state is 7.82 for Wayne (due to a lower student enrollment) and 8.51 for Manchester, Mt. Vernon, and Readfield.

19 Budget Progression – As changes are made to the FY19 RSU #38 budget the budget progression is tracked.  This document shows the work that has been done, to date, toward developing a fiscally responsible budget.

19 Debt.Leases.Bonds – This document has been revised in order to reflect lease/purchases that have been paid out.

19 Debt Retirement – This document summarizes the retirement of facilities debt.

19 Priorities List – A list of reductions to date, items to consider cutting, and priorities to keep have been developed by the administrative team and presented to the School Board.

19 Middle School IA Budget Proposal – A School Board member requested this information.  This program has not been included in the FY19 budget to date.

MCS Student Participation – This information was requested by a School Board member.

We still have not received notification regarding the anticipated increase in employee health benefits.  The amount included in the budget for this purpose remains at an expected 10% increase.

Discussion of the above information took place, questions concerning the information were asked, and explanations were offered.  Thanks to the members of the area Select Boards and Town Managers of Readfield and Wayne for attending this important meeting.

Citizen John Harker presented information about Health and Nutrition Education and asked that funding for these items be included in the FY19 budget.  He also spoke about increasing teacher salaries in order to retain good teachers.

There is always an opportunity for citizens of RSU #38 to speak during budget meetings in order that their concerns might be addressed during the budget process.  Citizens who have a budget suggestion or concern should attend the remaining budget meetings.


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