The Marion School Committee approved the Sippican School fiscal year 2019 school budget on April 11, and Superintendent Doug White gave an overview of the FY19 budget and its driving factors.
The FY19 budget rings in at $6,058,909 – a 2.19% or $129,800 increase over the FY18 budget. Driving the budget were some increases in staff contractual agreements accounting for $53,519, as well as an increase in staffing for integrative technology at $26,659, and an increase of $22,800 in physical education to bring that position up to full-time in order to bolster the school’s health program within the present instruction.
Other increases include the contracted services line item up $23,729, special nursing up $34,033, and special education transportation up $44,932.
In all, the district decreased the special education budget by $159,000 with reduced out-of-district services and state-funded circuit-breaker reimbursements. Breaking it down further, White said spending on special education staff was reduced by $107,729 due to a shift in services and how the district can accommodate services within the building, a 50% reduction in that area of the budget.
Overall, the special education budget is down 4.6% or $88,614.
Contracted services in the district, including utilities, is up 30% or $157,985; however outsourcing its custodial services saved the district $107,000.
Business Administrator Patrick Spencer said some sources of funding have offset the budget, including grants of almost $120,000 and a number of revolving accounts, including the Principal’s Account with $37,000 that provides further support for the budget.
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Elise Frangos highlighted further grant funding for the district, including $35,105 from the state to support the economically disadvantaged population at Sippican School, which was increased by over $7,000 from FY18. Funding such as this, she said, requires data from the district to the state to demonstrate that benefits from the use of such funding have been documented.
“…We feel we get a lot of utility out of using these grants to support children and teachers,” said Frangos. “There are indicators expressing to us that, while [the disadvantaged student population] can increase in our community, there is somewhat of a worry that these grants may disappear. That’s something to think about.”
Total budget for special education is about $1.8 million, and $4.2 million is allocated to regular education and operations.
“A lot of work went into the budget,” said School Committee Chairman Christine Marcolini. “We’re very proud of the things we’re looking to support,” she said, adding in a word of thanks to the Town for its support. “Thank you for listening and for really taking a good look at we are looking for next year in and supporting our vision.”
The next meeting of the Marion School Committee is scheduled for May 23 at 6:30 pm in the Sippican School community room.
Marion School Committee
By Jean Perry