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Sebago School District Budget Workshop 05-01-18
Sebago School District
School Committee
Minutes of Budget Workshop
May 1, 2018
Sebago Town Hall

1.      Call to order

The meeting was called to order by Tina Vanasse, Chair, at 6:07 pm

Members of the Sebago School Committee present:
        Joe McMahon
        Tina Vanasse
        Wendy Newcomb
Guests present:
        Superintendent Marc Gendron
        Allen Crabtree
Phil Lowe
Claudia Lowe
Mabel Olden
Dorothy O’Donnell
David Sheldrick
Anne Mc Mahon
Doug Newton
Deborah Howard
Donelle Allen
June Allen
Audrey Douglass

2.      Budget Workshop

Tina turned the workshop over to Marc who walked through the proposed Sebago School District budget for the first year of the new district, pointing out salient items:

Funding of $83,355 is include for a new Pre-Kindergarten.  There are a number of things that must be done to get ready for having Pre-K at SES, including physical modifications, a fenced playground, staffing and state approvals.  It is possible that everything could be in place for Pre-K to start in January 2019, and in the meantime the preparation work and modifications could be done.  

Special Education costs are still a variable and will depend on whether the program is offered in-house or if it is contracted for out-of-house.  Plans are to have a full time Special Ed teacher.

Payments from MSAD61’s UFB as part of the withdrawal agreement will not be determined until probably the end of this year, when a MSAD61 audit is completed. At one point the MSAD61 UFB was $1.2 million, but the amount is less after spending on projects.  If the UFB is capped at the state 3% level then Sebago might be in line to receive about $50,000.

Sebago’s obligation to MSAD61 for debt service is budgeted at $263,376 this year, but this amount will be lessened as bonds are paid off.  Joe will get a schedule of debt service payouts for the Committee at the next meeting.

Sebago School District administration includes $5,000 in discretionary funds.  There was discussion about the ability of the School Committee to move operating budget funds from one account to another.  Marc explained that the Committee has the authority to transfer funds within the budget up to 5% of the total budget.  

The proposed warrant articles for the school district were discussed.  The public hearing for the School Budget is scheduled for Saturday, June 2, following the regular Sebago Town Meeting.  The referendum for validation of the School Budget will be Tuesday, June 12.

Doug asked about bringing Grade 6 back from the Middle School to SES.  There was discussion about the value of better nurturing with Grade 6 at SES vs. better social growth if Grade 6 was with other towns’ students at the MS and not having to “catch up” by going to the MS a year later.  Donelle commented that having Sebago Grade 6 at the MS or not doesn’t matter too much, as there is already bonding among members from each town before they reach MS.  Marc said that any decision on Grade 6 will not be made this first year, with plenty of time to discuss the pros- and cons.

Doug also wanted to know the affect of moving Grade 6 on the 20% allowed under the withdrawal agreement to voucher Sebago students to other MS/HS districts.  Marc said that this would not affect the 20%, as that is based on the count of Sebago students enrolled at the MS/HS, and if Grade 6 were moved they would not be part of that count.

The process to select Sebago children in the 20% is not yet determined but will be before the new school year begins.  It might be a “first come, first served” basis, or some sort of a lottery.

There was discussion on the cost of tuition vouchers for Sebago students going to MS/HS at Lakes Region and/or to other Districts.  There will be about 47 Sebago students going to Lakes Region MS at a cost of $9,333 each.  There will be about 56 Sebago students going to Lakes Region HS at a cost of $12,200 each.  Tuition at other Districts will be negotiated and will be based on the state averages.  It was stated that tuition to send Sebago students to Gorham HS or MSAD55 might be lower than MSAD61 costs.  As now planned, the parents of Sebago students going to other school districts would be responsible for arranging their own transportation to school.

Elementary students coming from Baldwin to SES would pay about $3,343 for tuition.

The bottom line of the proposed budget reflects an increase of $77,289, or an increase of 2.5%, over what Sebago paid to MSAD61 last year.  This does not reflect any funds that might be received from MSAD61, either the $6,000 “windfall” or any UFB payouts.  The increase is essentially the amount that is budgeted for the Pre-K program, for which there has been strong and consistent support from Sebago.

A revised budget projection will be presented to the School Committee at their next meeting, scheduled for May 8.  At that time the Committee will vote to recommend approval of a budget, which the Board of Selectmen will review and sign the warrant at their May 15 meeting.       

Tina asked if the budget could be broken out to show funds for operating SES and funds for MS/HS tuition costs.
4.  New Business

Claudia announced that there will be a Meet the Candidates night at the Library on Monday, 21 May.  The candidates for Board of Selectmen will be introduced, followed by the candidates for two positions on the School Board.  Allen will do an article for the Bridgton News on the School Committee candidates and asked Donelle and David to send him short bios and a photo.  He has already received material from Audrey.

5.      Adjourn

The workshop concluded at 7:30 p.m.  following a motion by Joe McMahon and 2nd by Wendy Newcomb, and approved by the Committee.

  • The next Committee meeting will be Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm at the Sebago Town Hall.