I am reaching out to give you all an overview of where we currently stand with our proposed FY 19 School Budget so that you have the most up to date and factual information possible to help inform your decision making when you go to the polls on June 12 (notice I said "when" and not "if"! 😊).
Our proposed budget was approved by the School Committee on April 11, 2018 by a vote of 6-1. The proposed budget was then sent to the Town Council on June 5, 2018 for approval. At this meeting, the Town Council voted to reduce our overall expenditures by $346,000.00 and to accept a change in our revenues that increased by $392,00.00. The overall impact of the vote by the Town Council was a reduction to taxpayer expense (from the originally proposed budget) of $738,000.00. In order to account for the reductions to expenditures made by the Town Council, the School Committee reduced the following items from our originally proposed budget:
- Van for Special Ed
- Oil Tank
- Gym Curtains
- Nar. Bathroom
- GMS Walkway
- 3 Additional Buses
- GMS Math textbooks
- Gr. 1-3 Chromebooks
- Paper Purchases
- Legal Counsel
- Staff Tuition Reimbursements
- Staff Professional Development
- Substitute Teacher Lines
As I hope you can see from this list, this means we were able to accommodate for the changes made to our budget WITHOUT REDUCTING ANY STAFF POSITIONS that were in the originally proposed budget. That originally proposed budget actually included some needed additions to our staffing such as an increase of a half time school licensed nurse, the increase of 3 elementary teaching positions, the increase of part time English and Social Studies positions at GHS, and the increase of a 504 strategist position and Assistant Special Ed. Director position.
The summary figures for the finally approved budget then are:
* Expenditures are up by 3.51% or $1.3 million
* Revenues are down by 4.7% or $900,000.00
* Local Appropriation Need (taxpayer expense) is up by $2.15 million from last year or 9.18%
* The COMBINED school and town budget increases to the mil rate are up by $1.29 or 7.5%
You can view a "infographic" on the proposed budget by CLICKING HERE. You can also get more detailed information by going to our district website, clicking on "School Committee" under about us, and then going to the budget information page from there.
Overall, the budget that was approved by the Town Council allows us to adjust to meet the needs of our growing student population while doing its best to balance those needs with the needs of the taxpayers who support us. We feel confident that we can operate the programs necessary for our students with the funds provided in this proposed budget for FY 19.
That being said, I want to take one more chance to remind folks to GO VOTE on June 12th! The budget that was approved by the Town Council MUST BE VALIDATED by a majority of voters on June 12th or the budget is not finally approved and we would need to do this all again. Please make sure your voice is heard!
Any questions - just ask (my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org)! Thank you!