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Budget 2015-16

2015-2016 Citizen Adopted Budget

June 9, 2015 Election Results

FY'16 Budget Passed  
Yes votes: 1,176 
No votes: 958

Breakdown by Town
Durham: Yes 142 - No 376
Freeport: Yes 917 - No 378
Pownal: Yes 117 - No 204

Please Vote Tuesday June 9th
2015-2016 School Budget
Providing Quality Schools in RSU5

After reviewing the state of our schools, the school board has built a school budget that will allow us to provide a quality education for all our students next year. The budget process has included reviewing and prioritizing requests from administrators, public comment, and amendments during the public vote at Annual Budget Meeting to determine the final budget figures.

The challenges we faced this budget cycle included decreases in State funding, increased State requirements, and changing student needs. The proposed school budget is 7.77% higher than last year.

Approximately 4.2% of the increase is due to rising costs alone, without any change to instruction. This includes market rate differences for next year’s heat, electricity, insurance, plowing, transportation, wages and benefits, as well as the first interest payment for the high school renovation.

The remaining 3.57% of the increase allows the district to make need-based changes to instruction in our schools.

Our test scores indicate that the lower-performing students in our schools are not meeting targets for academic growth. Studies show that small class size, intervention services, and early education programs show undeniable improvement in performance. This budget adds:

  • One full-time intervention specialist at Freeport Middle School
  • One first grade teacher at Morse Street School to keep K-2 class sizes below 20
  • One part-time specialist to improve pre-K-6 math instruction district wide
  • A pre-K program in Durham Community School

State law now requires high school students to be able to prove proficiency in specific skills and subjects in order to graduate. The State law also demands that we provide students with different methods of learning and instruction. The budget includes:

  • Teacher training on new State requirements
  • New reporting software that allows students, teachers, and families to understand exactly what each student has learned and has yet to achieve
  • Funds to provide multiple pathways of learning and new classes as required

Our special education department is currently not in compliance with all State requirements. This budget will allow us to hire additional staff to support students with special needs.

Some young students in the district have life-threatening health situations requiring slightly more assistance at school than in years past. This budget includes increased nursing hours at Morse Street School and Pownal Elementary School.

Our custodians are also van drivers for special education students who need to be transported for special services. An increase in the number of students with these needs over the last two years has caused custodians to be pulled from their custodial duties daily. Our principals and teachers have had to assume custodial duties on occasion. This budget solves the problem by hiring two more custodians.

During the budget development it was determined that Pownal Elementary School needed additional staffing. This budget adds hours to existing positions in guidance and teaching support staff, as well as increasing the principal's time in the school.

Morse Street School and Mast Landing School need items such as paper, paint, classroom books, glue, crayons, pencils, erasers, repairs to musical instruments, music supplies, and replacement of broken or outdated technology.

The staff and school board are constantly working to make our schools as cost-efficient as possible. This budget saves taxpayers $1.2 million dollars over the next twenty years by including a $219,570 interest-only payment on the high school renovation bond.

We thank the community for its commitment to quality schools. Please vote June 9th at the following voting locations:

Freeport: Freeport High School, 7am-8pm

Durham: Durham Community School Gym, 8am-8pm

Pownal: Mallett Hall, 8am-8pm

-- RSU5 Board Members: Kathryn Brown, Candace deCsipkes, Nelson Larkins, Naomi Ledbetter, John Morang, Beth Parker, Brian Pike, Michelle Ritcheson, Lindsay Sterling, Valy Steverlynck, Karin VanNostrand

Budget Process Calendar

March 25, 2015
Board Meeting for Budget Review with public Comment 6:30 p.m. FHS Cafeteria

April 8, 2015
Meet and Greet with the Board 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. Pownal Cafeteria
Board Meeting for Budget Review with public Comment 6:30 p.m. Pownal Cafeteria 

April 29, 2015
Meet and Greet with the Board 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. Durham Cafeteria
Board Meeting for Budget Review with public Comment 6:30 p.m. Durham Cafeteria
-Final opportunity for the public to comment
-Board will deliberate on the budget

April 29, 2015 New Information - A Special Meeting has been added for May 6, 2015
Informal Discussion with the Board 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. FHS Cafeteria
Board will deliberate on the budget

May 13, 2015
Board Meeting for Final Budget Adoption, 6:30 p.m. FHS Cafeteria
-Board will take final action on the budget

May 27, 2015
Annual Budget Meeting for budget approval, 6:30 p.m., FHS Gym
-Durham, Freeport and Pownal residents will vote on the budget Article by Article in large "Town Meeting" style gathering

June 9, 2015
Budget Validation Referendum in each town
-Citizens from Durham, Freeport and Pownal go to their voting locations to vote on the budget by secret ballot

The Board encourages our citizens' involvement in this process.  Please join us for these important meetings to learn more about our budget and the quality educational programs we are working to provide.  After each meeting we will post the budget handouts at so please log on to get more information and to follow our progress.  We welcome your participation!

Information as a result of the May 27, 2015 Annual Budget Meeting

Documents for the May 27, 2015 Annual Budget Meeting

Budget Documents from the May 13, 2015 Board Meeting

Budget Documents from the April 29, 2015 Board Meeting

Budget Documents from the April 8, 2015 Board Meeting

Budget Documents from the March 25, 2015 Board Meeting

February 26, 2015 Update