By Dr. Brian J. Blake, Superintendent
Carriage Towne News
KINGSTON — As they say, time flies. I just looked at the calendar and realized that due to the publication deadlines and timing, this will be the last article before the Deliberative Session scheduled for Wed., February 6. In my last article, I reported on the school district budget process, the School Board recommended budget, and the Budget Committee’s recommendation to be presented at the Deliberative Session. In this article I would like to briefly address some of the requests in the budget, the cuts recommended by the budget committee, and the anticipated tax impact.
In this year’s budget, we have shifted two elementary teaching positions to the kindergarten level in order to provide our students with a full day program. In the first year, this is actually a cost savings to the District, as we are able eliminate the mid-day bus runs at a savings of approximately $59,700.00. During the past year, we conducted a pilot program using existing staff to have a group of students participate in a full day program. The results of the study showed remarkable improvement in student achievement. Additionally, new curriculum expectations with the Common Core Standards that have been adopted necessitate a full day program at the kindergarten level in order to ensure student success.
Some of the other expenses included in the proposed budget include $70,000.00 to replace a section of the roofing at the Middle School. This is a project that has been put off for several years. There is also significant work needed at the Chase Field complex including the removal of under-ground fuel storage tanks and renovations to the Chase Field House. We are also in need of replacing a front-mount mower for District wide use. These items remain in the proposed budget.
The Budget committee has recommended cuts in several areas of the budget, particularly at the high school level. Following the public hearing, the budget committee revised their recommendation to include the elementary funding as requested. The budget committee is recommending budget reductions for new initiatives at the high school including transportation for field work experiences, AP exams, a consultant to continue the culture and climate work at the high school and graduation-related expenses (student recognition, graduation equipment rental, etc.) They have also recommended a reduction of one additional teaching position at the high school level (in addition to the ones included in the School Board’s proposed budget) and a reduction of salary increases for non-union personnel from 3.5% to 2%. These reductions add up to over $200,000.00.
The proposed budget for the Sanborn Regional School District for the 2013-2014 school year is $31,586,769.00. As proposed, the estimated tax impact would be a .49 per thousand of assessed valuation for Kingston tax payers and .58 per thousand of assessed valuation for Newton tax payers. The average estimated increase for tax payers residing in the Town of Kingston is $129.00 and $146.00 for Town of Newton tax payers. Please plan to attend the Deliberative session scheduled for Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanborn Regional High School Auditorium.
If you have any questions, regarding the budget or the process, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org