It is important that the Kingston and Newton taxpayers understand the Sanborn Regional School District’s request for increases in the Operating Budget and Warrant Articles. Unfortunately, the School Board chose not to show the percentage of increases on their Warrant Articles.
The Operating Budget of $31,683,936, (an increase of 1.3% and not recommended by the Budget Committee) is $97,000 more that what the Budget Committee wanted. The Default Budget is $31,519,733, which is still $249,000 more than last year, but a savings of $164,000.
Warrant Article 4, for the professional staff wage and benefits package, is for a 3-year contract: $519,167 the first year which is a 3.46% increase. The 2nd year increase is $459,466 for a 3.93% increase. The 3rd year increase is $529,314 for a 4.3% increase. This comes to over one million, five hundred thousand ($1,500,000) over 3 years, which is over and above the Operating Budget increases. The School Board voted to not show these percentages of increase on the ballot. Neither the School Board nor the Budget Committee could unanimously support the increases. On the ballot, it will show a 1% increase, which is only the ‘cost of living increase’, but does not include the costs of the benefits package.
Warrant Article 5, for the Support Staff, is for 2 years, and requests a wage increase and benefits package. For the first year, there would be an increase of $99,495, which is a 4.05% increase, and $74,993 the second year, for a 4.01% increase, for a total of over $174,000 over and above the Operating Budget and the Professional Staff increases. Again, the School Board voted to not show these percentages of increase on the ballot.
Therefore, if all these increases are passed, we are looking at an increase of at least $1,800,000 for the 3 years. This information was presented at the School Deliberative Session on February 6, 2013, which was attended by approximately 100 of Kingston’s 4000+/- voters, and 50 of Newton’s 3100+/- voters. At this meeting, the voters requested that the increase percentages be put on the ballot, but the School Board had already decided “No”.
These results and the breakdown can be further reviewed on the Sanborn Regional School District 2014 Budget website.
So taxpayers, voters, please get out and vote on March 12.