By Dr. Brian J. Blake
---- — KINGSTON - As I write this edition of the Sanborn Connection, the schools are closed for the winter break while the custodial staff works their magic to clean and disinfect the schools prior to our return. This will be the last article prior to the Vote on March 11, so I wanted to summarize the warrant articles, point out the School Board recommendations and tell you more about the great things happening in the District.
This year’s Ballot contains eight Warrant Articles on which the voters are asked to make a decision. Article 1 is for the election of officers for the school district. There are currently four board member positions, the moderator, and three budget committee seats up for election. Article 2 is to accept the reports of the “agents, auditors, committees, or officers and place them on file”. It baffles me that so many people vote no on this article.
Article 3 is the Budget Article. The proposed budget is $33,458,911 while the Default budget is $33,199,985. The difference between the proposed budget and the default budget is $258,926. It is hoped that the voters of the Sanborn Community will support the proposed budget amount in support of the schools. The school board recommends Article 3 by a vote of 6-0.
Article 4 is the article allowing the School District to retain a fund balance, similar to the towns. The purpose is to help level out future tax hikes and to serve as an emergency fund. The School District can only use the fund balance to offset taxes in future years or petition the State Department of Education for an emergency purpose. It does not allow the district to overspend the approved appropriations. The School Board recommends this article by a vote of 6-0.
Articles 5 and 6 are Petitioned Warrant Articles that would require the district to record votes and numerical tallies (Article 5) and include an estimated tax impact (Article 6). Article 5 is recommended by the School Board by a vote of 6-0 since it is standard practice that we provide this information. Article 6 was not recommended by the school board, as it was felt that the estimates would be inaccurate and create confusion for the voters.
Article 7 is also a Petitioned Warrant Article to rescind Senate Bill 2, our current form of voting. Passage of this article would return the district to the traditional School District Meeting format, where articles are presented, debated, discussed, and voted upon right at the meeting. The School Board recommends this article by a vote of 4-2.
Article 8 is the final article on the School District Warrant. It is the article that would impose a tax cap on the district. The original article called for a 2.5% tax cap, but it was amended up to 6% and then finally 10% at the deliberative session. The School Board does not recommend this article by a vote of 0-6.
The Sanborn Regional School District has made tremendous strides in recent years. We continue to enhance the educational opportunities that are available to our students. Our administrators and staff are recognized as leaders in the state around our grading practices and the adoption of the Common Core Standards. Students are achieving at the highest levels in our history. Our Strategic Plan, entering its’ final year, is more than 90% complete. It is my sincere hope that the voters of the Sanborn community will continue to support the hard work, dedication and achievement of our school system.
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