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 #6
March 26, 2019
The Cape Elizabeth School Board met on March 26, 2019 to discuss the implications of the news received from the MEA Benefits Trust on the highest rate of increase in benefits, 7%. This is a reduction of 3% from the 10% that has been included to date in the FY20 expenditure budget proposals and represents a decrease in the expected increase of $101,485. At the March 26th meeting the School Board discussed a proposal to use $47,673 of the cost savings to reduce the total expenditure budget to $26,890,420, an increase of 5.9% over the FY 19 expenditure budget. This would reduce the impact of the school budget on taxes to a 4.94% increase.
In the proposal, the additional $53,811 of the cost savings would be placed in the contingency fund, to be used for needs that might arise during the 2019-2020 school year. One unknown at this point that concerns the Board is the size of the incoming kindergarten class. An exceptionally large class would require the addition of a kindergarten teacher in order to stay within Board class size guidelines (Policy IIB). In addition, kindergarten registration information indicates an increase in our ELL (English Language Learners) population which might necessitate increasing the ELL staff or adding hours to our current staffing. Increasing the contingency fund to $153,811 would provide the funding necessary to meet these needs, should they become reality. Unspent contingency money would be used as carry forward money to be considered revenue for the FY21 school budget.
After discussion about reintroducing some of the cuts that had been made, the Board agreed to focus on keeping the expenditure budget as low as possible in order to be fiscally responsible to the taxpayers, and to add the remaining funds to the contingency account in order to address possible upcoming needs of the district. They agreed to move forward with their budget proposal which includes a 5.9% increase over FY19 in the expenditure budget and results in a 4.94% increase to the taxpayers.
There has been a change in the date of the next School Board Business Meeting from April 9, 2019 to April 4, 2019. At this meeting the School Board will vote to approve the FY20 School Budget. The meeting will be held in Council Chambers at Town Hall at 6:30 PM. There will be a time for community input on items on the agenda.
Donna H. Wolfrom
Superintendent of Schools