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2013-2014 Budget Process Update

posted Feb 27, 2013, 7:44 AM by Nancy Embry   [ updated Feb 27, 2013, 7:47 AM ]

February 27, 2013

 

Dear Parents and Community Members,

The 2013-14 school budget was presented to the Kittery School Committee on Tue. Feb. 26, 2013 in a workshop held in the Traip Academy library. At that time, the entire budget was explained and accompanying details were presented. The workshop was intended for school committee members to discuss options and direct the Supt to prepare a budget that they support. Information for the public is posted in a .pdf at the bottom of this page. The development of the FY 14 school budget has been especially challenging.  Every effort was made to reduce and reallocate our human and financial resources to ensure that, in these difficult times, we are continuing to move the school system forward.

 Looking Back- Like all departments in the Town of Kittery, the Kittery School Department has been asked to produce a budget with 0% increase again this year. In looking back, the KSD has tried annually to come as close to the requested 0% increase as possible. In FY11 and FY12, we did accomplish the 0% increase. The result was elimination of 13 positions and the reduction of several programs. In FY13, the budget presented was a .86% increase, but still resulted in the elimination of 5 positions and further program reductions.

Where we stand now-, As the budget was prepared this year, we are faced with revenue reductions and increased costs passed on to us by the State of Maine.  This current year we have experienced a curtailment in state subsidy of $128,000 (money committed to us, but did not come to us). We have been told that this curtailment will continue into next year. In addition the state funded subsidy for Special Education costs (which are federally mandated) has been reduced from 35% to 25%. The net result is a loss of nearly over $200,000 in state subsidy funding. In addition, Governor LePage is proposing that retirement costs for staff be passed from a state responsibility to the local school departments. This is an additional cost of $186,000. This loss of state subsidy and the additional local expense resulting from these changes amount to over $400,000 for the KSD.

In summary, over the last three years, the state subsidy to the Kittery School department has continually decreased. In the same time period, the student population has increased by 111 students (11%). We have reduced staff by 18 instructional personnel and 9 district-wide support positions have been reduced or eliminated. The net result is we are serving more students with fewer personnel as we strive to continually improve programs and services. For those reasons, it is very difficult to continue with flat funding at this time.

Looking Ahead- It is critically important at this time that we look carefully at all expenditures and un-met needs. The FY 14 budget includes several examples of reallocation of resources and further staff and program reductions. It also includes additions that I feel must be included at this time to move the school system forward. The budget proposal presented represents a balance of fiscal responsibility and sound educational planning for the future. The proposed budget increase shows increased expenses for FY14 of 1.12%($161,757) that is due to the increased retirement expense of $186,500 passed from the State of Maine to the local level.  The budget as presented includes funding for much needed additions but also includes reductions/re-allocations to assist with meeting unmet needs. I urge you to review the budget information and join us at the public hearing on Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30 pm in the Town Council Chambers. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns or would like to pick up a hard copy of the budget materials at central office.

Respectfully,

 

Allyn W. Hutton

Kittery Superintendent of Schools

207-475-1334

ahutton@kitteryschools.com

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Nancy Embry,
Feb 27, 2013, 7:44 AM