Earlier this year I wrote about our school budget and thought it made sense to revisit that blog post prior to the district budget hearing this Thursday (5/7/15, 6:00 MHS PAC). As both a resident taxpayer and employee of RSU18 I feel it is important to share as much information as possible for you to make an informed decision on our budget and I encourage you to reach out to me should you have any questions.
As High School Principal I am perhaps as close to the creation and development of the budget as any building administrator, member of the RSU18 educational staff, or most other employees or residents of RSU18. It’s a hard process each year, but it is one that I am proud of and one that I believe reflects well on our district. From Bus Drivers to teachers, to administrators and support staff, it is my belief that we do well by our local communities.
Information on the 2015-16 budget can be found at: http://www.rsu18.org/index.php?id=2&sub_id=7574
Information on past budgets can be found at: http://www.rsu18.org/index.php?id=341&sub_id=447
I am frequently asked about the district budget (as a long-time resident with three kids moving through the district, I’m often approached with questions). Below are some points I would share about our budget and the budgeting process.
Our district spending over the past five to six years has been very responsible:
Over the last five years RSU18 Budget cumulative increase stands at 3.57%; this is a 0.71% annualized increase over that time. An increase of less than 3/4 of one percent each year.
Neighboring districts 5 year cumulative budget increase stands at: Augusta – 8.15%, Lawrence – 12.72%, Maranacook – 10.85%, Waterville – 11.8%, Winslow 4.79%
RSU18 is frugal with their spending based on the per-student spending as reported by the state when compared both to state averages as well as the surrounding school communities.
The RSU18 per-student spending for 2013-14 is $10,245, $1811 below the state average of $12,059.
The per-student cost of the 2015-16 RSU18 School budget stands at $11,459 using the latest state enrollment figures (Oct. 1).
The same per-student spending of area schools is: Augusta – $12,714, Lawrence – $12,194, Maranacook – $13,510, Waterville – $11,742, Winslow – $11,835.
(2013-14 Maine School Expense Category Comparison)
RSU18 does well by kids… As principal of Messalonskee High School I have seen us work to better the education of the students in our building over the past four years. The teaching staff has been flexible, increased a larger variety of offerings for students, and worked to raise the academic performance of our students. Last year we were the highest scoring High School in our area with a “B” on the state report card.
Some key dates to participate in the proposed 2015-16 School budget.
RSU18 District Budget Hearing
5/7 – District Budget Hearing (citizens discuss, make motions, and vote on the budget to be presented to communities) – Messalonskee High School PAC, 6:00 pm
RSU18 Budget Validation Referendum (vote)
5/19 – District Vote on RSU18 15-16 budget (All communities)
As always, I am happy to answer any questions you may have pertaining to the budget or other items related to our work at MHS.
I encourage you to come to the District Budget Hearing this week (5/7, 6:00 MHS PAC) and hope you will take the time to cast your vote on May 19th.