2019/20 Budget Meeting

Jake Towne

Tuesday, May 14th was the date of the annual budget meeting for the RSU 21 district. The meeting was relatively quick compared to previous years. Before each vote, usually decided by a show of hands, the moderator, Durward Parkinson, would ask for discussion. Only three articles (4, 6, 11) had further discussion, all of which were simply explanations of the articles in question. Despite the impact that this budget has on RSU 21 as well as on the taxes for citizens, only 75~ registered voters were in attendance. For this reason, I hope to see little contention about the decisions made by more than those 75~ voters. For anyone that couldn’t attend, here’s a breakdown of what’s been passed.

Article 1: $18,795,740.35 for Regular Instruction

Article 2: $8,607,350.62 for Special Education

Article 3: $65,307.05 for Career and Technical Education

Article 4: $1,210,560.57 for Other Instruction – Including co-curricular and extracurricular activities, as well as summer school and dual-enrollment.

Article 5: $3,716,237.42 for Student and Staff Support – For students, this includes guidance and health services, as well as instructional technology like Chromebooks and iPads. For staff, this includes improvement of instruction, staff training, library services and student assessment.

Article 6: $1,038,750.24 for System Administration – Including operation of the school board, and management of HR, the fiscal department, and the superintendent’s office.

Article 7: $2,068,797.28 for School Administration

Article 8: $3,085,596.19 for Transportation and Buses

Article 9: $4,946,701.28 for Facilities Maintenance – Not including completion of building projects mentioned on page 14 of the 2019 Annual Report, which were budgeted at the previous year’s meeting.

Article 10: $6,467,470.00 for Debt Service and Other Commitments

Article 11: $167,740.00 for All Other Expenditures – Primarily including food service

Article 12: $33,429,469 for funding public education from pre-k to grade 12 as described in the Essential Programs and Services Funding Act, divided between schools as follows:

Article 13: $5,019,945.00 for annual payments on debt service for non-state-funded school construction projects or non-state-funded portions of school construction projects

Article 14: $167,740.00 for the school nutrition program.

Article 15: $10,779,994.05 for school programs not included in the state’s funding model, including special education, transportation, co-curricular, food service, extra-curricular programs and teacher salaries – this section exceeds the amount recommended by the state’s Essential Programs and Services allocation model by its entirety – $10,779,994.05

Article 16: $50,170,251 is the total cost of all other articles, article 16 is the final check to pass the budget.

Article 17: The school board is authorized to expend any other sums received from federal or state grants, programs, or other sources during the fiscal year for school and other program purposes, given that such grants, programs or other sources don’t require the expenditure of other funds not previously appropriated.

Article 18: The school board is authorized to transfer up to $200,000.00 from available fund balances to the School Capital Reserve Fund provided that the funds may only be spent with express authorization from RSU 21.

Article 19: The school board is authorized to raise and appropriate $172,000.00 to transfer to the School Capital Reserve Fund provided that said funds may only be spent with express authorization from RSU 21.

Article 20: If RSU 21 receives more state education subsidy than the amount included in the budget, the school board is authorized to use all or some of the additional subsidy to decrease local cost share (taxes) for local taxpayers.

Tax Impact calculator: