Hope and Lincolnville schools see large state revenue increases

By Susan Mustapich | May 15, 2019
Source: File photo

Large increases in state funding for Hope Elementary School and Lincolnville Central School, and a sizable increase for Appleton Village School, are notable in the proposed 2019-20 budgets for the three Union 69 schools.

Union 69 Superintendent Dianne Helprin explained that she has reviewed the increased state funding with the state Department of Education, and found that the department calculated the property valuations of Hope and Lincolnville in a way that lowered the valuations, and increased the state subsidy. For Hope Elementary School, increased enrollment is another factor in the uptick in state revenue, she said.

Helprin said DOE officials have confirmed that while the local valuations were miscalculated, the state subsidy amounts promised for the 2019-20 school year will not change. Helprin said both Hope and Lincolnville schools will use the funds for one-time maintenance and repairs that have been documented in a long-term planning process. She said the state revenue increase for Appleton Village School is based on increases in special education costs.

The budget for each school is voted on twice in the respective towns, first at a special town meeting (see dates below), and then at the polls June 11.

Hope

Hope Elementary School will see a 73 percent increase in state education subsidy for the 2019-20 school year to total $1,156,259. The state revenue is up $489,141 from the previous year. Expenses in the school budget totaling $3,109,455 are up $534,948, or 21 percent, from 2018-19. After state revenues are subtracted from expenses, $1,944,278 remains to be funded by local property taxes, a 4.4 percent increase.

The number of students enrolled this year is 174, with enrollment projected to increase to 185 in 2019-20, according to Helprin.

Voters approved the proposed budget at a May 9 special town meeting.

Regular instruction: $1,348,8181, up $243,166.

Special education instruction and administration: $647,154,up $101,920.

Other instruction: $26,997, up $1,910.

Support services: $230,362, up $13,941.

System administration: $107,130, down $1,694.

School administration: $179,871, up $9,958.

Facilities maintenance: $430,943, up $218,187.

Transportation: $138,180, up $1,685.

Lincolnville

The state education subsidy for Lincolnville Central School is increasing 55 percent to $542,454, up $215,995 from 2018-19. Expenses total $3,748,120, up $205,680, or 5.8 percent. After revenues are subtracted from expenses, the total to be raised from property taxes is $3,203,265, the same as 2018-19.

School Principal Paul Russo said the current number of students is 223, and he expects the number to stay about the same in the coming year.

Russo said the increased revenue will be used for the second of three annual payments on a new HVAC control system that was purchased and installed last year. It will also pay for repair of the west wall in the gymnasium, which was infiltrated by moisture and rot because of a failed exterior siding product. The north and east gymnasium walls have been rebuilt and repaired in the past two years, and the west wall repair will complete the work. In addition, kitchen flooring will be replaced.

He said the increase in state funding this year will not affect taxpayers if it drops in the future, because the money is being spent on one-time repairs, not on recurring expenses. The school board does a good job of building capital reserves for maintenance, he said, but recent projects have depleted the reserves. On the warrant voters will see a proposal to move $66,835 in carryover, or funds not spent in 2018-19, into the capital reserve fund for future needs. He said the school has a 10-year plan for building needs, based on the property's condition.

The special town meeting for the proposed Lincolnville Central School school budget will be held at 6 p.m. May 22 at 523 Hope Road.

Proposed expenses in the school budget are as follows:

Regular instruction: $1,379,139, down $2,413.

Special education instruction and administration: $534,067, up $137,620.

Other instruction: $45,972, up $3,943.

Support services: $362,911, up $5,618.

System administration: $133,525, down $1,386.

School administration: $184,154, up $4,706.

Facilities maintenance: $552,113, up $181,463.

Transportation: $141,930, down $1,000.

Appleton

The state education subsidy for Appleton Village School is increasing 28.6 percent to $1,015,495, a $226,102 rise. Expenses totaling $2,749,389 are up 7.8 percent, or $199,430. After revenues are subtracted from expenses, $1,633,894 remains to be raised from property taxes, down $8,031, or 0.5 percent, from 2018-19.

The special town meeting for the AVS budget will be held at 7 p.m. May 23 at 737 Union Road.

Proposed expenses in the school budget are as follows:

Regular instruction: $1,087,995, up $23,403.

Special education instruction and administration: $606,104, up $85,162.

Other instruction: $41,566, up $7,805.

Support services: $290,375, up 65,626.

System administration: $92,692, up $117.

School administration: $181,229, up $5,721.

Facilities maintenance: $239,558, up $7,836.

Transportation: $118,650, up $3,750.

Courier Publications Assistant Editor Susan Mustapich can be reached at 236-8511 x 118 or by email at smustapich@villagesoup.com.

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