- 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.
Projected enrollments for Pond Cove Elementary School and Cape Elizabeth Middle School were presented. These enrollments are based on March 1, 2019 enrollment data. District staff comparisons of Cape Elizabeth School District and neighboring school districts, based on EPS (Essential Programs and Services) were also presented. All documents presented and discussed at this meeting are available on the district FY2019-2020 Budget website under March 5, 2019 School Board Budget Workshop documents.
Jeff Shedd, Principal of Cape Elizabeth High School included information regarding average class size and student-teacher ratio in the information presented to the School Board. This information is presented in the supporting documents for this meeting on our website.
Troy Eastman, Principal of Cape Elizabeth Middle School presented a proposal for the addition of .125 FTE for the middle school French teacher. Troy and Assistant Principal, Kyle Morey have been working with the 2019-2020 middle school schedule and have determined that in order to reduce class size to align with district guidance in School Board Policy IIB, we would need to add this extra time.
A chart titled Look What We’re Doing to our Schools: Vollmer’s List showing federal programs and mandates that have been added to the responsibility of public schools in the United States was shared since 1900. This chart resulted from a study by Jamie Vollmer, a national speaker in support of public education. The chart shows the impact of these mandated programs on the cost of the average national per pupil expenditure. Please call the Superintendent’s Office (207-799-2217 ext. 271) if you are interested in a copy of this chart. A list of current staffing that correlated to these mandates was also included in the material for this budget meeting and is available on our website. These positions require certification in the various areas, as well as space for working with students. Classroom teachers are not included in this list, nor are foreign language teachers at the high school.
Additional updates discussed at this meeting include a pie chart showing a breakdown of the proposed increases in the FY20 budget. This pie chart will change as we proceed through the budget development process.
A Salary and Benefits Comparison FY20 and FY19shows the projected impact on the budget if everything remained the same except for the increase in salary, benefits, and retirement costs of staff, with the known retirements and resignations. The impact of these costs would be a 4.2% increase over the FY19 school budget.
At the end of the February 26, 2019 budget meeting, the School Board directed the administrators to reduce the expenditure budget from a 7.8% increase to an increase of 6% over the FY19 budget. This would result in a 5.1% increase on taxes and a decrease of $449,608 in the expenditure budget. Information was also included in the packet that shows the impact on the budget for additional expenditure cuts. Administrators met on Monday, February 25, 2019 to work on identifying and prioritizing areas to cut in order to meet the Board request. That work will be completed and ready to present at the next budget meeting. An additional budget meeting has been added for this work and will take place on March 19, 2019 at 6:30 PM in the library at Cape Elizabeth High School. This meeting will be videotaped and will be available on the district website. I urge citizens to attend this important budget meeting. There will be two opportunities for public comment on the budget at this meeting.
Donna H. Wolfrom