Superintendent releases budget preview, meeting schedule

By Staff | Feb 05, 2014

Rockland — Superintendent Lew Collins anticipates a total taxpayer increase of $633,823 as part of a proposed 2015 budget for Regional School Unit 13.

Collins emailed a budget preview and schedule for budget meetings to members of the press Wednesday, Feb. 5, detailing what to expect in the school budget that will run from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015.

The proposal includes cuts in administration and a middle school merger, among other proposed changes.

Budget-to-budget differences 2014 to 2015

Revenues:

$938,000 Less in undesignated fund balance to use

$150,000 Less in state aid due to lower enrollments

$1,088,000 Minimum loss in available revenues

Expenses:

$150,000 More in health insurance costs at a minimum

$350,000 More in steps and cost-of-living raises at a minimum

$120,000 More to fully fund lunch program deficits

$64,000 More in System Administration costs

$684,000 Minimum fixed cost increases

Total budget deficit for FY 15 optimistically: $1,772,000

The superintendent included his proposals to address the budget deficit:

Proposed cuts, changes:

1. Merge Middle Schools: Savings: $414,000

2. Eliminate/reduce four additional administrative positions:

— Director of School Improvement: $106,953 salary and benefits

— High School Principal: $103,678 salary and benefits

— Assistant maintenance director: $ 42,656 salary

— half-time reduction athletic director position: $ 31,264

Total for administration positions: $284,551

3. $1,073,449 deficit remainder to be developed by administrators based on a percentage basis of their budget to the total.

Individual School Targets:

(Schools are 38.6 percent of the total budget —

$1,104,713 times 37.5 percent = $414,267 target)

— Cushing= 4.7 percent of Article 1. $414,267 times 4.7 percent = $19,470

— Gilford/Butler= 4.2 percent of Article 1. $414,267 times 4.2 percent= $17,399

— Lura Libby= 8.7 percent of Article 1. $414,267 times 8.7 percent= $36,041

— Owls Head= 4.7 percent of Article 1. $414,267 times 4.7 percent= $19,470

— RDMS= 9.3 percent of Article 1. $414,267 times 9.3 percent= $38,526

— South School= 12.1 percent of Article 1. $414,267 times 12.1 percent= $50,126

— St George= 10.6 percent of Article 1. $414,267 times 10.6 percent= $43,912

— TGS= 7.9 percent of Article 1. $414,267 times 7.9 percent= $32,727

— OHS-West= 16.1 percent of Article 1. $414,267 times 16.1 percent= $66,696

— OHS-East= 21.2 percent of Article 1. $414,267 times 21.2 percent= $87,824

4. Special Education is 14.5 percent of the total budget. $1,104,713 remainder times 14.5 percent= $160,183 target

5. Athletics is 2.3 percent of the budget. $1,104,713 remainder times 2.3 percent= $25,408 target

6. Guidance is 2.5 percent of the budget. $1,104,713 remainder times 2.5 percent= $27,617 target

7. Professional Development is 1 percent of the budget. $1,104,713 remainder times 1.1 percent= $12,151 target

Summary

— Total middle school merger= $414,000

— Total admin. positions= $ 284,551

— Total from individual schools $ 414,267

— Total from special ed= $ 160,183

— Total from athletics= $ 25,408

— Total from Guidance= $ 27,617

— Total from PD= $ 12,151

Total Reductions= $1,338,177

8. Total requested from taxpayers before new program requests = $1,772,000 minus $1,338,177 reductions = $433,823

9. New Programs:

— Gifted/Talented Teachers Middle Schools and High School: $120,000

— Pre-K Pilot Program (Teacher and Tech): $80,000

Budget workshop schedule

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., McLain School Board Room

Joint A-Team and Finance Committee

1. Review of questions from last week

2. Discussion of possible solutions

3. Committee/A-Team discussion and questions for next meeting

Tuesday, March 11, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., McLain School Board Room

Joint A-Team and Finance Committee

1. Review of questions from last week

2. Discussion of possible solutions

3. Committee/A-Team discussion and questions for next meeting

Tuesday, March 25, 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m., McLain School Board Room

Joint A-Team and Finance Committee

1. Review of questions from last week

2. Discussion of possible solutions

3. Committee/A-Team discussion and questions for next meeting

Monday, April 7, 6 to 8 p.m., McLain School Board Room

1. Overview of budget summary to Board by Finance/A-Team

2. Overview of revenues and expenditures-proposed

3. Board discussion and questions for next meeting

Wednesday, April 9, 6 to 8 p.m., McLain School Board Room

1. Response to Board questions from prior meeting

2. Board discussion and questions for next meeting

3. Public Comment (30 minute limit)

Monday, April 14, 6 to 8 p.m., McLain School Board Room

1. Response to Board questions from prior meeting

2. Board discussion and questions for next meeting

3. Public Comment (30 minute limit)

Wednesday, April 16, 6 to 8 p.m., McLain School Board Room

1. Response to Board questions from prior meeting

2. Board discussion and questions for next meeting

3. Public Comment (30 minute limit)

Monday, April 28, 6 to 8 p.m., McLain School Board Room

1. Summary of final budget by Finance Committee and A-Team

2. Public Comment (30 minute limit)

3. Final vote on FY15 budget

 

District Budget Meeting - Date TBD

Budget Written Ballot Referendum - Date TBD

Comments (5)
Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Feb 06, 2014 14:23

Yes, Sonja, we have all had to cut back and when it gets down to bare bones for some of us there is little to cut. At the very least; merge the middle schools, freeze ALL new programs, wage increases and benefits. Our municipalities; especially Rockland;  will still have to make cuts to their budgets this year.  Has nothing to do with people and programs not being worth it: WE JUST DON'T HAVE THE MONEY.



Posted by: jessica white | Feb 06, 2014 09:28

Really, Sonja Sleeper? Did you seriously just suggest that our school system "lower it's standards" and "hire cheaper teachers"?



Posted by: Sonja Sleeper | Feb 06, 2014 09:13

I would take the steps and cost of living increases out.  Take professional development out, delay new programs i.e. the gifted teacher, Pre K Pilot program, which is a savings of $550,000 dollars right there.  Still doesn't save jobs but doesn't increase costs, one might want to consider a 2% to 5% pay cut or corresponding cut in benefits.  Less sick days for example, more part time teachers, lower some standards so school can hire teachers at a lower rate of pay. There are lots of things that can be done.  No new systems or technology, use what you have to repair, maintain and operate.

 



Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Feb 05, 2014 16:30

This RSU-13 gang DOES NOT know what it is to make tough decisions; all they know how to do is to sock it to the homeowners and argue among themselves.  Superintendent Collins should get the heck out of Dodge and leave Rockland alone he has already done enough damage.  This whole mess reminds me of the Keystone Cops and the taxpayers are being screwed.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Feb 05, 2014 10:47

Would you like to be making the tough decisions? Not I. Hope people stop stirring things up so the  mud settles and things can been seen clearly once again.



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Dan Dunkle
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Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and news director for Courier Publications. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.

Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast for 15 years.

 

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