Monday, December 28, 2015

HB 1137 Would Require SAU Budget Warrant Article to Include Cost Per Student

Note that this requirement would not apply to SAU's such as Moultonboro that comprise only a single district.

HB 1137  requires the following warrant statement:
“Shall the voters of __________ (name of school district) __________ adopt a school administrative unit budget of $_____ for the forthcoming fiscal year in which $_____ is assigned to the school budget of this school district and which will cost $_______ per student for the fiscal year?
This year’s adjusted budget of $_____, with $_____ assigned to the school budget of this school district, will be adopted if the article does not receive a majority vote of all the school district voters voting in this school administrative unit.”
SPONSORS: Rep. Abramson, Rock. 20; Rep. Spillane, Rock. 2; Rep. V. Sullivan, Hills. 16
I am not sure why the bill would be limited only to SAU's with two or more districts. I would support this for all school districts. The only concern I would have is how to calculate the cost per pupil. It could be a gross number ( total budget divided by enrollment) or the formula the NH DOE uses:" Cost per pupil represents current expenditures less tuition and transportation costs. Any food service revenue is deducted from current expenditures before dividing by ADM in attendance. Capital and debt service are not current expenditures and are not included." 
In the end, I suppose it doesn't really matter how it is calculated because for Moultonboro it is still very high and will be higher still as enrollment decreases. To be fair though, does it tell the whole story or even the right story? I don't really know how to answer that except to say that we have in place all the bells and whistles a parent or teacher could ask for  and then some. Are we getting our money's worth? Here is another question: if the SAU45 budget was 20% less in 2016-17, would our educational outcomes be any different? 

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