Budget Update 1- 01/20/2016

Budget Update #1 – RSU #38 School Board Budget Meeting, January 20, 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 statement above was adopted on January 20, 2016 by the RSU #38 School Board as the FY17 budget statement. It focuses on the needs of students as well as the fiscal responsibility to the citizens of RSU #38, and was discussed at the January 6, 2016 RSU #38 School Board meeting during the budget goal setting portion of the meeting. Also at this meeting the school board asked the RSU #38 administrators to bring forward a budget that would meet the needs of all students.

At the first budget meeting on January 20, 2016 the principal of Manchester and Mt. Vernon, Janet Delmar, the principal of Wayne and Readfield, Jeff Boston, Cathy Jacobs, principal of Maranacook Community Middle School and Dwayne Conway, principal of Maranacook Community High School presented their FY17 Original Request Budgets. These budgets highlighted successes based on the provisions included in the FY16 budgets as well as additional requests for the FY17 budget.

Principals Delmar and Boston highlighted the benefits of the additional math interventionist who now provides additional math support services for students in Mt. Vernon and Wayne. Budget requests in elementary schools include additional nursing services that would allow increased coverage at Mt. Vernon and Wayne, curriculum supplies for the new science units, non-fiction reading, and math materials. Principal Boston also included the request for a half time literacy specialist at Wayne to support students, and Principal Delmar requested a behavior interventionist at Mt. Vernon to support students with behavior needs.

Cathy Jacobs, principal of Maranacook Community Middle School, celebrated the increase in field trip money in FY16 that allowed the middle school chorus to sing at the New England League of Middle Schools conference and at the state house, and provided for the funds to purchase additional novels for reading which resulted in increased assessment scores in reading. As of the most recent winter NWEA (Northwest Education Assessment), 85% of the students at the middle school scored at the proficiency level or above in Reading. The middle school budget requests for FY17 included the expansion of co- and extra-curricular activities such as robotics and volleyball. This request is the result of a student survey that was administered in order to gather information regarding student interests in co- and extra-curricular activities. The survey was part of the action plan developed to help the district make progress toward the goals in the RSU #38 Strategic Plan. One of the goals of this plan is to increase student participation in after school activities in order to promote student engagement and post-secondary success.

Maranacook Community High School Principal, Dwayne Conway, reported on the increase in graduation rates of our students. The graduation rate for the 4-year cohort of students that graduated in June 2015 was 91.09%, an increase of over 10 percentage points in the last three years. While we celebrate this increase, Dwayne and his staff are dedicated to working toward a graduation rate of 100%! Dwayne also spoke about the success of the dual enrollment program at the high school. This spring we will have two students who graduate both with a high school diploma from Maranacook and an Associate Degree from Thomas College. In addition, 42% percent of our high school students are currently attending a dual enrollment class saving parents a total of $320,465 to date.

Principal Conway also thanked the Board for their support of the addition of the Math Interventionist position that was included in the FY16 budget. The position offers students additional support in math and has already made a difference in student success. Included in the budget request for FY17 is a literacy interventionist at the high school to work with students who need extra support in literacy as they work to meet Maine’s standards. In addition, there is a science lab at the high school that needs to be refurbished in order to function as a lab that will help students meet new science standards. Funds are requested for this refurbishment along with an update of the CAD software, and an increase for printing costs of the yearbook. Also included in the budget requests for FY17 is a CNC (computerized numerical router) which will support student work in the boat building program that is offered at Maranacook in conjunction with a local boat building company.

In addition to the presentations of the principals, we will hear budget proposals from directors of other budget areas in future budget meetings. On February 3, directors of Technology, Special Education, English Language Learners and Gifted and Talented will present their budget proposals. On February 24, we will have presentations from directors of Co and Extra Curricular, Maintenance, Transportation, Adult Education, Food Service, Professional Development, Curriculum, and Debt Service. Please be sure to attend these informative sessions or view them after the meetings when they are posted on the RSU #38 web site.

There are many missing pieces to the Original Request Budget and both the RSU #38 School Board and the Administrative Team have much work to do as we develop a budget that offers all students opportunities for success and at the same time is fiscally responsible for the RSU #38 citizens. If you visit budget updates from last year you will see that the budget changed significantly from the Original Request Budget to the final adopted budget. To date we have not received either our expected subsidy numbers from the state or our anticipated health insurance figures. Included in this budget is an expected 10% increase in health insurance, which may be a high projection and will be adjusted as we receive more concrete figures.

Several handouts were included in the RSU #38 School Board packet for the January 20, 2016 meeting. They are as follows:

State Valuation Yearly Comparison showing an increase in valuations of Manchester and Mt. Vernon and a decrease in valuations in Readfield and Wayne.

Enrollment History showing a decrease in enrollment from 2015 to 2016, with attending enrollment dropping by 24 students. Ideal state subsidy situations are when enrollment increases and valuation decreases, so we realize that we are not facing optimal budget conditions this year.

Enrollment showing actual class size for each elementary class and enrollment at the middle school and high school.

Budget Subsidy History showing the last three years as the three lowest subsidy receiving years for at least 15 years, and an FY16 budget that was similar to the FY09 budget.

Budget Distribution Graphs for FY14, FY15, and FY16, each showing that over 75% of the budget for each of those years was spent on salaries and benefits of the RSU #38 employees.

New Program/Position/Purchase Requests, give a brief description of proposals for the FY17 budget that represent increases from the FY16 budget. These are not detailed explanations.

Please view the January 20, 2016 RSU#38 School Board Budget Meeting video in which the principals offer a more detailed explanation of their proposals.

Original Request General Fund School Summary Budget 01/20/16 outlining the proposals from RSU #38 administrators. Both the RSU #38 School Board and Administrative Team will continue to adjust this budget as Board deliberations continue.

We look forward to community participation in the FY17 budget process. A time for citizen input is included in every budget meeting. I would like to thank Mr. William Starrett for videotaping the RSU#38 School Board Budget meetings in our efforts to be transparent throughout the budget process. These videos will be available on our web site so that every RSU #38 community member has access to the presentations and deliberations throughout the development of the FY17 budget.

Sincerely,

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