Budget Update #7
April 4, 2019
On April 2, 2019 we received the notice from MEABT (Maine Education Association Benefits Trust) regarding the health insurance increase for our employees. The place holder in the FY20 budget had been reduced from a 10% increase to a 7% increase when we were notified in March that the ceiling for increases would be 7%. With this reduction in our anticipated increase ($101,485) we were able to reduce the FY20 expenditure budget to a 5.9% increase over FY19 and place the remaining $53,811 in a contingency account, to be used for any unanticipated costs such as an extra teacher due to increased enrollment, or additional ELL (English Language Learners). Unused FY20 contingency funds would roll into the FY21 budget as undesignated fund balance and serve as a reduction on the impact of the budget to taxpayers.
Notification from MEABT indicated a 6.78% increase in health benefits. This represents an approximate $7,400 reduction in the anticipated increase, an amount that would be expended should a district employee decide to change insurance plans for next year. The School Board discussed the option to keep the insurance rate increase expenditure amount at a 7% increase for the FY20 School Budget, realizing that employees often change plans and the added $7,400 would be applied to any changes that occur.
At the April 4, 2019 School Board Business Meeting the Board reviewed the FY20 budget process, commented on the collaborative nature of budget development, and celebrated the spirit of optimism enjoyed as the Board is convinced that they have developed a budget that meets their goals for increased communication, fiscal responsibility, and maintaining and improving a high quality of education for all. The FY20 Cape Elizabeth School Department Budget was voted on, and adopted by the Cape Elizabeth School Board in a unanimous vote.
I would like to thank the administrators of the Cape Elizabeth Schools for maintaining a systems- approach to the budget process as they focused on what is best for all of the students in the district, the citizens and staff who provided input throughout the budget process, Town Councillors who attended budget development meetings and reviewed videotapes of the process, and members of the combined Town Council/School Board Budget Subcommittee who met throughout the process in the spirit of communication and collaboration.
The FY20 Cape Elizabeth School Department Budget will be presented to Town Council on April 24th and 25th (if needed) in Council Chambers at 7PM. The Public Budget Referendum will be held on June 11th. Again, many thanks to all who participated in the FY20 Budget development process.
Donna H. Wolfrom
Superintendent of Schools