At last Wednesday's regular meeting of the MSAD 72 School Board, the Board approved a proposed FY17 budget of $17,199,140. This represents a 2.13% increase over the current budget without the debt service for the school construction project and a 4.71% increase overall. The process we utilize to create the budget relies on staff members, administrators, and the Board of Directors working together to assure that our budget supports the needs of students and staff members while at the same time being fiscally responsible.
There were many financial challenges presented by this year’s budget. The first challenge was a $468,000 loss in subsidy. According to the Department of Education, this is because “the costs for education have increased at a higher rate than the available State subsidy.” This means that more of the costs for education are passed on to local towns.
Impacts on next year’s budget include: a $423,000 increase to make two interest payments on the bond for the building project, a $185,000 increase to cover our contractual obligations to Fryeburg Academy for secondary education costs, a $315,500 increase in special-education costs, $52,000 to purchase a new bus to maintain the integrity of our fleet, $38,000 for a new (used) plow truck, and the fact that we have $150,000 less Balance Forward to apply to this year’s budget. Through close scrutiny of all part of the budget and careful planning, we have reduced this potential $1,163,000 increase to an overall increase of $773,500 dollars.
We strongly believe that a 4.71% budget-to-budget increase, with 2.58% of that being debt service for the building project, is reasonable as it helps us maintain key positions, helps us continue to meet the needs of students, and helps us minimize the increased demand on local taxpayers. This 4.71% increase in the budget results in a 5.17% ($588,920) increase in costs to our towns, which is unavoidable given the decrease in available State funding for education.
If you would like to attend an information session next week, those will be at the following locations and at the following times:
Tuesday, May 17 New Suncook Informational Meeting (6:30 PM)
Wednesday, May 18 Brownfield-Denmark Informational Meeting (6:30 PM)
Thursday, May 19 MOMS Informational Meeting (6:30 PM)
Also, attached to this post you can find copies of each warrant article of the proposed budget, a copy of the budget-to-budget increases/decreases, and the town assessments. I hope to see you at an informational meeting and that you come to the May 25th Budget Meeting at Molly Ockett Middle School to support this budget.
MSAD 72 Superintendent