The Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Community School District will hold its annual meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 16 in the Boothbay Region Elementary School gymnasium.
The meeting will have floor votes on 16 articles of the CSD’s budget and a written ballot for one article. The meeting follows a long budget season and about a year of preparing for sudden, tremendous costs to repair the aging BRES building.
Articles 1 through 11 take the budget piece by piece: Article 1, regular instruction, $3,990,123.43; Article 2, special education, $1,622,063.97; Article 3, career and technical education, $0.00; Article 4, other instruction, $275,904.88; Article 5, student and staff support, $948,846.33; Article 6, system administration, $271,854.20; Article 7, school administration, $568,409.23; Article 8, transportation and buses, $479,628.92; Article 9, facilities maintenance, $1,732,198.18; Article 10, debt service, $393,474.16; and Article 11, all other expenses, $125,000.
Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS) 98 Superintendent Keith Laser explained, Article 3’s appropriation of $0.00 reflects a change from two years ago in how career and technical education (CTE) is funded.
“The state now has a funding formula exclusively for CTE programs, and they will fund the CTE up to that amount,” Laser said in an email. “Bath CTE operates on a budget below the state allocation so they are funded 100% by the state.”
Article 12 asks voters to appropriate $5,140,894.30 and raise $4,628,711.10 to fund pre-kindergarten through 12th grade per the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act. These sums are identified as the minimum to qualify for state funds.
A written ballot will decide Article 13, which asks voters to approve additional local funds of $4,105,565.95. The amount exceeds the state’s allocation model by $3,980,565.95 because the model does not recognize costs of maintaining student to teacher ratios, special education programming, extracurricular activities and transportation.
Article 14 asks voters to approve the overall budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 – $10,407,503.30. This exceeds last year’s budget by $408,763.48 or 4.09% with most of the extra cost coming from facilities and plant operations (30.14%) and debt service (41.65%) both of which have increased due to sudden costs in building upkeep.
“Discussions on how to address these needs have taken a great deal of time and energy,” said Laser in his annual report. “In the end, the Board of Trustees opted for a $5 million bond … the main reason the budget has seen an increase over the previous fiscal year.”
Article 15 reads: "In addition to amounts approved in the preceding articles, shall the School Committee be authorized to expend such other sums as may be received from federal or state grants or programs or other sources during the fiscal year for school purposes, provided that such grants, programs or other sources do not require the expenditure of other funds not previously appropriated?"
Article 16 appropriates $59,122.69 and raises $47,500 for the adult education program.
Article 17 authorizes the school committee to spend any additional state subsidy funds awarded after the school budget meeting.
Said Laser, “The budget that you are being asked to support will continue to fund the learning initiatives that we engage in along with updating our aging facilities … We take very seriously the trust that you have put in us for providing the students of our community a top-notch learning environment and education.”