FY 18 Budget Documents
The Regional School Unit 24 Board of Directors approved a General Fund budget of $16,127,919.50 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017 and ending June 30, 2018 at its May 2, 2017 meeting. This represents an increase of $311,512, or 1.97% from the current year. Based on the revenue and subsidy information that are available at the time, the increase in local taxes needed to support the budget is $95,623, or 0.77%.
The Directors are pleased that there was more community input in the budget development process this year. Community members, many from Gouldsboro, attended nearly all of the budget workshops. Many expressed concerns about the impact of tax increases in their communities and asked the Board to hold the line on the budget as much as possible. That is not a small task given that employee compensation represents two-thirds of the district budget. Collective bargaining agreements that cover nearly all district staff contain raises of 2% to 2.5% and health insurance premiums will rise 9.47%, or $176,314. Additionally, the amount of money budgeted to pay tuition costs for students attending schools outside of the district will rise by $171,406, or nearly 15%.
And there are needs at our schools that require urgent attention. More students attending our schools have serious medical needs that require immediate medical intervention. It became clear that two nurses covering five buildings could put some students at risk. So a third School Nurse is included in the budget. Also included are building renovations to address indoor air quality issues, the replacement of roof shingles, funding for additional Education Technicians to support the Proficiency Based Education model, and a new math curriculum. Therefore, keeping the total budget increase under 2% meant finding savings nearly every place else.
A summary of the Proposed Budget appears at this site. Each towns increase (or decrease) in assessments to support this budget depends on their valuation and the number of resident students relative to the State as a whole and relative to other towns in the district. Property valuation and enrollment went down statewide as well as for most towns in the district. However, towns that experienced increases in resident students, or valuation, or both, will experience increases in their assessments to support the budget this year. There are also towns that will see little or no increase. Three of our towns will see a decrease. The impact on each town appears on the bottom of page 2 of the FY 18 General Fund Budget.
What we all know is that this will all change over time as students come and go and towns revalue. Towns that saw larger increases two and three years ago are faring better now while towns that fared pretty well two or three years ago are taking a hit with loss of subsidy or higher enrollments. It all ebbs and flows over time and tends to even out over the long term.
Also appearing here is the Proposed Adult Education budget, which decreases for the second year in a row, this time by -6.8%. And due to an increase in funds available for balance forward, and a projected increase in state subsidy, the district-wide local appropriation will decrease by $76,371, or -30.7% and all towns will see reductions ranging from -26.7% to -35.3%.
Voters will have an opportunity to ask questions and cast votes on the budget warrant articles at a District Budget Meeting to be held on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 6:30 P.M. in the gymnasium at Sumner Memorial High School. The budget vote will be preceded by a public forum in which the district’s Board of Directors will present the proposed budgets and their relation to the School Units overall Strategic Plan, hear comments, and answer questions for voters. All eligible district voters are encouraged to attend this important meeting.
Voters will have a final opportunity to cast written ballots on the proposed budget at the Budget Validation Referendum to be held concurrently with statewide and local elections scheduled for Tuesday June 13, 2017 at the polling places of each municipality in the district.
Please feel free to contact members of the Finance & Budget Subcommittee or Business Manager David Bridgham at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding the budgets or the budget approval process.