March 26, 2013
Dear Middletown Springs Community Members,
Thank you to everyone who came out to vote at Town Meeting Day. The school budget failed to pass, 165-161. We will hold an informational meeting on Monday, April 29 at the Middletown Springs Elementary School multipurpose room. We will serve a free, light meal, planned and prepared by our own new school cook, Marianna Charalabopoulos. With the help of the farm to school committee, the school has brought a new level of healthy, delicious food to the town’s children. We know you will love her cooking, so join us from 5:30-6:30 for the light meal. The informational meeting will start at 6:30. Childcare will be provided. Bring your questions and concerns to the meeting so we have a well-informed public ready to vote the following day.
We revised the budget. The budget presented to the town at Town Meeting Day was for $1,998,889.60. This was an increase of $62,267 over the previous year’s budget. The percent increase was 3.22%.
At the time the budget was originally put together to be printed for the public (December, 2012), we had an estimate of our health care cost increase of 14%. We now have a finalized increase in health care costs of 10%. This change in the estimated cost of health care reduces our FY14 budget to $1,994,889.30. This is a decrease of $3400.30. The increase over the FY13 budget is now reduced to $58,266, which is only a 3.01% increase over last year.
While we understand that there is not a huge difference between the original budget and the revised budget, cutting more than this would significantly impact the school’s ability to educate its students. There is little left to be cut. There were no additional programs or resources added this year. We are proud of the program we provide for our students and the community at large.
The school budget total expense is up by 3.01% in our revised budget. The increase in elementary and pre-k is $14,288.70 due to health care and wage increases in the negotiated contract. The Special Educated increase is $60,050, due to an increase in the number of students in town with IEPs. There is a decrease in secondary spending of $16,062 due to a decrease in secondary students. These leave a total increase over FY13 of $58,276.70.
At this point in the budget process, board controlled school expenses are only 15% of the total budget. We cannot control Special Education Costs (13%), Secondary Education Costs (32%), Supervisory Union expenses (4%), or, at this point, when teachers have a negotiated contract, Salary and Benefits (36%).
The Middletown Springs vote on the revised budget will be held at the Firehouse on Tuesday, April 30. Polls will be open from 7am-7pm.
The Middletown Springs School Board
Clarence Haynes- Chair
Kendra Larson- Vice-Chair
Karen Mach- Clerk