Throughout the FY20 School Budget Process the Cape Elizabeth School Board remains dedicated to the following goals:
Maintaining and improving the high quality of education for every student;
Careful examination of line items and consideration of the success and effectiveness of the expenditures in order to provide a fiscally responsible budget;
Clear and continual communication throughout the budget process.
Budget Update #3
February 26, Cape Elizabeth School Board Workshop
We had good news from the state last week regarding our ED279 State Subsidy Report. According to projections, Cape Elizabeth will receive a total increase in the projected FY20 state subsidy of $429,510. This includes the funding for our regionalization effort that was $22,121.40 for FY19 and will that will increase to $44,443.20 for FY20.
We are still waiting for notice of the percent of increase in health insurance benefits. We are projected to receive the range of increases throughout the state by mid-March and the final percentage rate of our increase sometime during the first week of April.
On February 26, 2019 the School Board met with Cape Elizabeth administrators to continue the FY20 budget development process. The meeting began with presentations by several of the Pond Cove Elementary School teachers regarding the elimination of a 4th grade teaching position and by the Pond Cove Playground Committee regarding the inclusion of funding for the new Pond Cove playground in the FY20 School Budget.
Based on the January 29 FY20 Original Budget proposal presentations, Finance Chair Elizabeth Scifries collected questions from the Cape Elizabeth School Board members and submitted them to district administrators. Time was allotted for administrators to address these questions at the February 26th meeting.
Jeff Shedd, principal of Cape Elizabeth High School presented information on class sizes, class ratios, and caseloads for teachers at the high school.
Jason Manjourides, principal of Pond Cove Elementary School answered questions about the success of the volunteer program in meeting the needs for student supervision in the lunchroom, on the proposed receptionist for Pond Cove Elementary School as a temporary attempt to address safety concerns at the entrance of the building, and implications for staffing including the elimination of a 4th grade teacher, possible high kindergarten numbers, the proposed .5 FTE Learning Strategist, increased hours for the health teacher, and 1.2 FTE lunch support personnel.
Troy Eastman, principal of Cape Elizabeth Middle School, shared supports teachers at the middle school are receiving as a result of large class sizes. These included a schedule that includes WIN (What is Needed) time, the addition of a social worker this year in order to add to supports available to students, and a schedule that includes time for teachers to participate in peer observations without having to create lesson plans. Mr. Eastman also spoke about his additional proposal for adding .125 FYE each week for French instruction in order to allow for smaller classes and a more functional schedule.
Due to time constraints the responses to Board questions by the rest of the administrators will continue at the March 5, 2019 Budget Meeting. The Board moved on to a discussion of the 7.8% expenditure budget increase and the 7% tax rate increase as a result of this Original Request Budget. The Board asked administrators to reinstate cuts made in the FY19 budget and bring the result back to the Board for discussion. The Board also asked administrators to work to bring the budget to an expenditure increase of 6% resulting in a 5.1 % increase in taxes. This would require a reduction in the FY20 Expenditure budget of $449,608.
The next budget meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers. I encourage citizens to try to attend these meetings. The March 5th budget meeting will be televised.