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School Board Budget Workshop Minutes 03/09/16

LAKE REGION SCHOOL DISTRICT
BOARD BUDGET WORKSHOP
March 9, 2016


There was a Board Budget Workshop on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Great Room at Lake Region Vocational Center.

Board members present were:  Debra Albert, Ben Bowditch, Stan Buchanan,
Alison Caulfield, Beth Chaplin, Karen Eller, Cindy LeBlanc, Joseph McMahon, and Karla Swanson-Murphy.   Janice Barter, Thomas Hancock, and Nina Stoddard were excused.  Philip Shane was absent.

The following documents were distributed:

  • Leadership Team Staff Requests
  • Leadership Team Staff Requests/Superintendent’s Recommendation
  • Enrollment Projections for 2016-17
  • Cost Center Summary
  • Revenue/Tax Comparison
  • Budget by Expenditure Articles
Karla Swanson-Murphy reviewed the Budget Process to date as follows:

  • The Finance Committee met at the beginning of February and reviewed the budget book page by page.  Sherrie reviewed any changes with the Committee.
  • Administrator presentations were made to the Finance Committee – Administrators explained their reasons for changes in their budget or recommendations they had made.
  • The initial increase in the budget was at 1.5%
  • The Committee reviewed the budget with Mr. Smith and Sherrie Small and made adjustments to bring the budget down to a .93% increase.
  • The Finance Committee unanimously voted to recommend this budget to the full Board.
Positions added to the budget include the following:

Lake Region Middle School
 .4 Guidance Counselor/Social Worker   (.6 to full-time)                 21,552
1.5 Intramural Stipends                                                   2,030
Lake Region High School
1.0 Content Area Leader   (from 6 to 7 leaders)                           4,331
Songo Locks School
 .6 Guidance Counselor/Social Worker  (.4 position to full-time)               34,146  
Athletics
Assistant(s) to Cover Middle School games in the Athletic Directors
absence                                                                  5,952  
LRVC
.5 Fire Science Teacher (5 students for 2nd year program)                        22,849     
Transportation
1.0  Mechanic                                                                                     57,801
 
                                                                       $148,661



Due to class sizes, it was decided not to add an additional Grade 3 Teacher at Songo Locks School.  The class sizes will still be under 20 per classroom.

An additional permanent substitute was approved.  This doesn’t change the budget, it just has someone available all the time.  If the person is not needed at the high school, they will be assigned to Lake Region Middle School for the day.  The permanent sub receives a contract for up to 175 days.  There are 2 or 3 months where they are not called every day due to the ACA law, which limits the number of hours they can work a month.

Athletic Position – As sports activities have expanded at the high school,   Mr. True asked to have an assistant at Lake Region Middle School to cover games that he cannot make in case of a student injury.  A job description will need to be adopted for the position.  The Athletic Department will hire the person.  The applicant will need to have training in head injuries, first aid, respiration, and other protocols.

The Intramural Stipend is a position which was started this year.  The position is to get students involved in school and taking ownership.  A job description will be developed for this position also.

A concern was raised that the District is having a referendum for Crooked River and it is eliminating staff.  Superintendent Smith assured the Board that there was no reduction in staff.  The only positions eliminated would be for someone who resigns and the position is not being filled.  The Business Office – Vocational Technology position was eliminated because there were no students for the program.

Mechanic for the Transportation Department – Mr. Madura explained to the  Committee that this position was needed.  There are over 50 units that the Transportation Department maintains.  It is more cost effective to hire another mechanic than to send the work out or pay overtime.  

The Cosmetology Program is not included in the budget as there is a Bill in the Legislature that needs to be passed before the vocational centers can include that program.  It will most likely not be passed this year.

A bill was passed to add $15,000,000 to the State budget for education.  Last year $25,000,000 was added to the State’s budget for education.  Due to the funding formula and the District being a low receivership, the District was going to lose $325,000, but after calling the State, received $145,000.00.   Superintendent Smith talked with several people regarding the formula and the need for a circuit breaker for District’s like ours.  He is hoping the District will receive what is currently anticipated.  The State will be updating the 279 Report and he will let the Board know the outcome.

There was a question regarding the recent Auditor’s Report.  It reported a surplus of $2.163 million, with $900,000 for undesignated funds.  How are these funds being used?  Superintendent Smith shared that $750,000 is being used to fund the 2016-17 budget, $250,000 will be added to the Capital Reserve fund, and approximately $200,000 will be used on facilities projects.

The challenge for next year is to keep within a 3% to 5% minimum balance which would be approximately $2,000,000.


Capital Reserve Fund

The Capital Reserve fund currently has approximately $230,000 in it.  Four major projects could be funded from this account which would not increase the budget.  The projects are the Middle School entrance, the Songo Locks School
entrance, High School Track, and air conditioning in the auditorium/gym at Lake Region High School.  Voter approval is needed to use these funds.

The October 1, 2015 enrollment numbers were shared along with projections for 2016-17.

A Cost Center Summary by Warrant Article was reviewed as follows:  

Article 2 – Regular Instruction –

$140,000 is being reduced for Charter School Tuition.  The State will be paying this amount and the amount will be taken directly out of the District’s 279 form.  
       
Superintendent Smith mentioned that in reviewing the list of students attending the Charter Schools, several home-school students are accessing the Public Charter Schools/Virtual Schools.

Article 3 – Special Education

There have been a lot of staff changes – the budget was reduced by 5 educational technicians.
Out-of-District Placements was reduced – this was a judgement call.
Three secretaries have been replaced who were paid at a higher rate.

Article 4 – Career and Technical Education

Business Office Technology has been eliminated.
Some computer equipment was transferred to Business Management.
Fire Science was increased by .5.

Article 5 – Other Instruction – Co-Curricular/Summer School

There were no significant changes.

Article 6 – Student & Staff Support

District-wide Curriculum and Instruction - This was reduced as several positions were moved to other cost centers.

There are reductions in the LRHS Guidance Department, LRHS Library, SBES Technology, SLS Technology, and SES Technology accounts due to staff retirements/changes and new employees being paid at a lower salary.

Article 7 – System Administration

No significant changes.




Article 8 – School Administration

No significant changes.

Article 9 – Transportation

This was increased by a mechanic and a reduction in bus lease purchases.

Article 10 – Facilities and Maintenance

Songo Locks School’s Building Lease is paid off – savings of $96,386.
Revolving Renovations Fund Loan – One of two loans ended for a savings of $41,761.  

Article 12 – All Other Expenses

Food Service - The amount for food service was increased from $50,000 to $100,000 due to the Federal regulations to include fresh fruits/vegetables, and whole grains and the cost of food.  

Anticipated Revenues

The Tax Assessments for 2016-17 are as follows:

         EPS Local Cont.  Add’l Local  Adult Ed.  Total Local Cont.  Inc.(Dec)

Bridgton   6,927,220        2,470,082   123,536        9,520,838       326,255
Casco      4,789,568        1,612,472    80,645        6,482,685        79,815
Naples     5,468,858        1,788,515    89,449        7,346,822       (48,553)
Sebago     2,003,329          978,854    48,955        3,031,138       (85,334)
         19,188,975        6,849,923   342,585       26,381,483       272,182

As two-thirds of the EPS funding model is based on student population and Bridgton had an increase in students, their tax assessment for an increase of $326,255.  

There was a conversation regarding information on Facebook regarding the Crooked River School project.  

The Friends of Songo Locks School are sharing information and doing a good job.  

Mr. Smith mentioned that he had given the cost of $.13 per day or $4.00 a month for the average cost for the Crooked River project.  He met with a Business Group and had given the monthly cost and they suggested he break it down by the day.  This was calculated by using the common average cost of a house, as assessments go, in each of the four towns as follows:

Bridgton - $171,000
Casco    -  200,000     
Naples   -  200,000    
Sebago   -  185,000   






Budget Status

The Board was asked if they needed more information regarding the budget.

A motion was made by Stan Buchanan, seconded by Beth Chaplin, to approve the proposed budget with the .93 increase.  Motion carried unanimously.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

A motion was made by Beth Chaplin, seconded by Stan Buchanan, to go into Executive Session to discuss a student matter, pursuant to M.R.S.A. 20-A,
605 6.B.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Board went into Executive Session at 7:00 p.m.   Guy Stickney was invited to attend.  

The Board returned to Public Session at 7:23 p.m.

A Special Board Meeting was scheduled for Monday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m.

The Board cancelled the budget meetings scheduled for Monday, March 14 and Wednesday, March 16.  

Superintendent Smith told Board members that he would be going to the Town of Sebago on March 15 and the Town of Casco on March 29 to do a presentation on the Budget and the Crooked River project.  

The meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.  

                                                                        __________________________
                                                                                  Secretary

                                                                        __________________________
                                                                                Date Approved