"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Thursday, December 17, 2015

School Budget

We've talked a lot about the County budget in recent weeks, and the Town is working hard on our budget, but no word to date on the School budget for fiscal year 2016-17.  There was mention of it at the 12/8/15 School Board meeting and a first draft was handed out, but no indication of numbers. Since there was no sound available from the streaming video, I have no idea what the preliminary numbers may be and I can find nothing on the district web site.
My expectation as a taxpayer is some movement to reduce the budget as enrollment continues to decline. We ( all taxpayers in Moultonboro) are looking at our County tax bill increasing from about $3.3 million at the end of 2014 to $4 million in 2016.


Joseph Cormier said...

Not the 2016-2017 budget, but maybe some discussion should be on the SAU #45 study: page 24 of the study (link at bottom):

XII. Suggestions Based on the Study for Addressing Future Needs
The following are suggestions that emerge as potential ideas for future action by
the Moultonborough School District based on observations of consultants and feedback
from staff and citizen meetings. While all ideas are summarized in Appendix A, the
following emerge to the consultants as major or initial suggested actions:

Suggestion 1:
Continue to develop and implement the district’s Capital Improvement Plan in
coordination with the town to effect needed maintenance to school buildings.

Suggestion 2:
Establish and implement an annual goal setting process for the school board and
administration that focuses on developing a few annual improvement goals that will
guide the continued improvement of K – 12 education.

Suggestion 3:
Consider consolidating the day schedule between both schools and adjust middle/high
to allow for collaboration in course offerings with nearby middle/ high schools.

Suggestion 4:
Consider moving the sixth grade to the Moultonborough Academy.

Suggestion 5:
Increase efforts to engage and involve the community in the schools.

Suggestion 6:
Increase use of “on-line learning” options as a way to limit the number of low enrollment classes at the secondary level, and increase choices.

Suggestion 7:
Consider sharing courses, teachers, and staff with neighboring schools.

Suggestion 8:
Consider expanding your efforts to attract tuition students who may be looking for
another school to attend


Town Hall Junkie said...

Suggestion # 1. Needed building maintence. JOE, here in Moult there is an unwritten proceedure for funding maintence. Pass your annual budget first, then come right back for the emergency need to roof the building, or " whatever ". Always works...

Terence C. Jatko said...

A competent governing board would include regular building maintenance as part of its yearly budgets and insist public property be properly maintained. As Junkie stated, maintenance seems to be an emergency item after a crisis occurs due to chronic neglect. I guess competence is just too much to hope for.

Anonymous said...

The "emergency maintenance spending" just like the county's "supplemental" turns into the next budget as a given, forever added in... not to worry they'll find a place to spend it on. The town does this with bond payments when the bond is pay off. It is called budget building without having to go back to the voters.
I am not sure why this list of suggestions is just now being considered. There is a charter school in Conway that is looking for a permanent home. The Conway/North Conway school dist. was approached, being in the same situation as Mboro. But the school board rejected the idea of renting (income from the many class rooms available and empty) to the charter school (growing in numbers and quality while public schools are sliding) because they "didn't think the timing was right". Holy Crap Batman!!! at what point would the timing be right to those in public education??
Looking at each and everyone of these suggestions having a charter school (run by a NON-public school entity) as part of the educational options and with-in the hallowed walls of SAU 45 would be a positive idea. The educational elite (union bought and paid for) have a real hard problem with charter schools. But like many things in this world, "the times they are a changin'. Charter school are around to stay and they have over, all a really good record. I am not trying to put anyone out of a job, close the present school, or some other evil thing some pub/school dependent may think of (so save the usual cries of fear for someone who might care). I am just looking at a once excellent, state recognized for quality school system that gets more expensive every year, while the quality of education is diminished to mediocracy. We have the highest per student costs in the state and looking at the top 1000 school districts IN THE NATION we even beat the Newark NJ district at $23,946. It is safe to say that we are among the most expensive districts in the nation.
As for trying to "involve the community" (suggestion 5) I once tried to get involved and got treating letters from HIGH UP in the ranks of SAU 45 the first time I asked for "public record info".

School closed for 2 weeks??? said...

Any one check the school calendar? Our $24 thous per students buys them a full two weeks off for a "holiday" break. Thats right. Schools out since yesterday. They are not back until January 4th! Interlakes, Gilford, Laconia, Wentworth, Alton, all are in class part of next week with most in session through the 23rd. Why in the world is this allowed to happen here at the most expensive district? This is not for the kids, its for the teachers who get an extended vacation on the taxpayers dime. Any wonder why public education is a disaster.

Joseph Cormier said...

"Suggestion 4:
Consider moving the sixth grade to the Moultonborough Academy."

Why is the sixth grade singled out?

Anonymous said...

6th grade will join 7th & 8th and become part of the Jr. High. Jr. High has it's own wing at MA. There's plenty of room at the High School for sure.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't more people upset that the schools are closed for 2 weeks?! There are postings whining about how many police we have. Duh. There are a lot more employees working for the schools that in the PD! Union speak here. I don't understand why M'boro is the only school district in the Lakes region closed for 2 weeks! Not right at all.

Apple a Day said...

As long as schools meet the State requirements I don't believe it matters how vacation time is divvied up.

Anonymous said...

To the Anon "why aren't more people upset...?"
As Apple A Day said as long as the get their 177 days in that's all that counts. However, I think that says a lot as to the attitude of the highly paid and under worked (6 - 8 kids in a class) SAU 45 staff. We have a ridiculous cost per student, with average or less than average results and yet by adjusting the calendar they all get a winter vaca of 16 days; 5 days more than the rest of the area. That is about 25% of their summer vaca. Where in the private sector would anyone get those bennies?... two months off in the summer and between Christmas, Feb. and April another month... 3 months a year off. Not bad.