All the numbers are in and all fiscal year 2018 school budgets have been approved, ready for Town Meeting acceptance in May.
The ORR School Committee was still talking about the Old Rochester Regional school district budget, the most contentious, during the March 23 joint meeting of the Tri-Town school committees.
“It wasn’t even level-service with that number,” said ORR School Committee Chairman Tina Rood before moving on from the subject.
The three towns firmly offered only a $320,000 increase for the ORR school budget this year, resulting in the committee increasing the number of School Choice slots to supplement a level-service budget.
The total FY18 operating budget for ORR is $18,093,215 – a $452,242 (2.56%) increase from FY17. The individual town assessments totaling $14,633,215 are as follows: Marion $4,431,698, up $229,287 from FY17; Mattapoisett $5,420,566, up $191,861 from last year; and Rochester $4,780,951, a decrease of $103,907 from FY17. The remainder of the budget is funded by other sources of revenue from the school district, including the increased number of School Choice slots that will add $5,000 in additional revenue for each student entering the district.
“The townspeople support our schools,” said Rood. “They believe in the work that’s being done here, and they expect us to put forth to them what we think is important in our schools.”
The Marion local school district budget is up $68,452, a mere 1.17%, totaling $5,929,108.
Mattapoisett’s budget, which is up $182,417 or 2.69%, totals $6,964,650.
In Rochester, the FY18 budget rose by $138,735, or 2.34%, to $6,076,537.
In all, the three towns spend a total of $37,063,510 on education in Tri-Town.
“All in all,” said School Business Administrator Patrick Spencer, “it’s a lot of money to help our schools and we’ll try to do our best.”
In other matters, the joint school committees voted to accept the school calendar for the 2017-2018 school year. Good Friday next year, March 30, has been scheduled as a day off from school.
The next meeting of the joint school committees is scheduled for Wednesday, May 10, at 6:30 pm in the junior high media room.
By Jean Perry