By Dr. Brian J. Blake
---- — KINGSTON - Greetings! The Sanborn Regional School District held its Deliberative Session on February 6, in the Sanborn Regional High School auditorium. Over 150 voters came out to have their voices heard on the important topics on the School District Warrant.
Following the introduction and Pledge of Allegiance, the articles were read by the Moderator and discussed by those in attendance. Warrant Article 3, the budget article, was presented by the chairman of the Budget Committee, Mr. Jay Pramberg.
The presentation included an overview of the budget development process, key increases, recommended reductions, and tax rate impact information. Following he presentation, the Article was amended by the voters to add $97,167 back into the recommended budget in order to support the various High School initiatives (including a teaching position, transportation for field work, and other activities.) After some discussion, the voters approved the amendment and then agreed to place the new amount on the Warrant. The proposed budget for the Sanborn Regional School District for fiscal year 2013-2014 is $31,683,936. The default budget stands at $31,519,733.
As I indicated in a previous column, the proposed budget includes the funding necessary to increase our kindergarten programs to full time. With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, continuing to offer only a half-day program will impact our ability to meet the Standards. The proposed budget also includes staffing reductions where appropriate in response to declining enrollment in some areas and based on the needs of our students. As presented, the proposed budget will help us continue to meet our goals of providing the best education possible for our students and becoming a top School District in the State. We believe that it is a fiscally responsible budget that meets the District’s needs as well as the needs of the voters.
Also presented and deliberated were the two warrant articles for the Professional Staff contract and the Support Staff contract. Each article was discussed and deliberated by the voters. Following presentations by Ms. Jan Bennett, chief negotiator for the Sanborn Regional School Board, questions were answered to clarify the percentages of increases, who was in each of the bargaining units, and how we compare with area districts and districts our size around the state. I will delve into more explanation of these areas in my next column.
If you have any questions regarding the budget or the collective bargaining agreements, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.