FY 2018 BUDGET CONTEXT
NET IMPACT OF $1,239,499 or 5.25%
RSU5 recognizes the inherent value of quality public education. On March 22, 2017, the Board of Directors adopted the FY 2018 Budget with a budget increase of 3.96% or $1,228,645. Of the 3.96% increase, 3.18% of the total percent is non-discretionary spending (e.g. contract obligations). In the governor’s currently proposed state budget, the RSU5 state subsidy will decrease by $212,000. This reduction in subsidy and the increased expenditures result in a net impact to taxation across the three towns of 5.25% or $1,239,499. Where possible, financial resources were reallocated or reduced to lessen the tax impact while still strengthening the educational services for our students. This proposed budget maintains class sizes of 11-24 in Pre-K through eighth grade, sustains existing programs, strengthens early intervention, increases supports for differentiation of instruction, supports the high school renovation, and begins incurring the debt on the new Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field, anticipated to open in September of 2017.
Our first priority in the budget is to increase learning for our youngest students. We are requesting a half-time kindergarten position at Pownal Elementary School to increase the program from half-day to full day. Additionally, the budget allows for Morse Street School to offer an additional session of Pre-K, bringing RSU5 a step closer in offering universal Pre-K to all three towns. Research shows that students who attend Pre-K have higher academic achievement, are more likely to attend college, and earn higher incomes. Early intervention is worth the investment!
Our second priority is to increase student support. Morse Street School is requesting a teacher to support students struggling in reading and math; Durham Community School is requesting an educational technician to support students with behavioral needs; Freeport High School is requesting a .25 teacher to provide literacy support to students; and finally, Durham and Freeport Middle School are requesting a shared math teacher to provide differentiation for our strongest math students. Research shows that students with more math preparation have higher earning power, and are more likely to enroll in and finish college. All of these support positions will help our students realize their potential and increase student achievement.
Our Annual Budget Meeting will be held at Freeport High School on May 24th at 6:30pm. We hope you will find these materials helpful in understanding the Board’s proposed budget and assist you in supporting our students as we seek to provide them with a world-class education.
Dr. Becky Foley
Superintendent of Schools