WINHROP – On Tuesday, city residents will vote on the proposed $ 12.03 million public school budget for next year, a decrease of $ 5,119 from the current spending plan.
Despite the state’s $ 296,094 less and a $ 30,000 reduction in the MaineCare reimbursement, the school committee reduced an initial project from a $ 500,000 increase to the proposed decrease.
âSince that initial ‘request’ budget, everyone has worked to review the request, prioritize and ensure all requests are correct,â Superintendent Jim Hodgkin wrote in the budget proposal. âCuts have been made and the budget is now down $ 5,119 or -0.04% from last year. “
Regular training is set at $ 4,585,205, an increase of $ 101,128 – or 2.26% – over the current spending plan.
In the budget document provided by the school committee, regular education includes salaries for teachers and education technicians, insurance costs, and school supplies associated with regular classes. Part of the increase is in teacher salaries set to hit a minimum of $ 37,500 for next year. Winthrop’s base salary was $ 35,000, but some positions paid less than $ 34,500.
âNo teaching post has been cut at this point,â Hodgkin said.
Special education is set at $ 2,114,950, a reduction of $ 47,598 – or 2.2% – from the current budget.
âFor the second year in a row, we have removed three special education technicians,â Hodgkin said in the report. “Two of those positions have not been filled this year and the third has been vacant for part of the year.”
Winthrop’s special education population falls below the state average of 17%, with 91 students at the school requiring special services, according to the report. The 91 students represent 11% of the students in the public school system.
The remaining instructions have an increase of $ 22,884 – or 5.58% – bringing the total amount proposed for the section to $ 413,939.
The other part of the budget devoted to instruction relates to extracurricular activities and costs related to athletics. The budget document stated that the increase is “mainly due” to transportation costs and an increase in training allowances.
The area of ââstudent and staff support has seen a decrease of $ 371 from its current $ 1.08 million.
âWith the investments that have been made with the funding for COVID-19, the need to support these purchases is significant,â Hodgkin wrote. âThe futuristic vision does not seem to have been made in this area, and the need to provide for the replacement of equipment and the necessary funding to do so is reflected in this budget. “
System administration for central office staff was reduced by $ 6,358. The total amount proposed for next year is $ 438,844 and the budget says the reduction is for the proposed salary of the business owner, among other reductions based on âspending trendsâ of the past three years.
School administration expenses, however, have increased by $ 31,870 – or 4.08% – from the current budget, bringing the total amount proposed for next year to $ 813,044. The increase reflects the 8% increase in the insurance rate. This area includes principals, vice-principals and other school administrative staff.
The proposed cost for transportation has decreased by $ 125,385 to the total amount proposed being $ 577,485 for next year.
âThis is due to the decision to sell the bus fleet,â Hodgkin said. “I am very concerned that this will become a huge increase in a few years, when the savings from the sale are finalized.”
Facilities increase $ 41,087 – or 3.18% – due to ‘underfunding for a while’ and money being set aside as school buildings in Winthrop age to prepare to any repair. Hodgkin also attributed it to a “significant” increase in fuel, electricity and “other fixed costs.”
The other articles on the budget referendum concern adult education and school nutrition.
Hodgkin said the school nutrition budget was more difficult to budget because it was funded by federal funds in the last school year. The budgeted amount is $ 547,328, which is $ 13,444 less than last year. For adult education, the recommended amount is $ 94,627, which is $ 4,286 less than last year, however, the program lost $ 5,000 in state grants, so the increase is $ 713.
The vote will be take place Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the town hall of Winthrop.
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