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March 25, 2015
 
 
The Budget Development for M.S.A.D.  No. 75
 
Last June, the voters of M.S.A.D. No. 75 approved a budget of $36,232,914.  The School Board has begun the process of developing a budget for the school year 2015-16 (FY16).  The Board utilizes a Finance Committee, chaired by Linda Hall, to determine the amount of money in the proposed budget. The Finance Committee began meeting on January 8, 2015, to consider recommendations from the administration and Superintendent.  The Finance Committee is currently considering a budget of $38,513,066.
 
As has been our practice for several years, a section of the District’s website contains updated information about the budget, including presentations made to the Finance Committee and School Board meetings.  We provide an opportunity for citizens to share ideas and recommendations about the budget.  All suggestions will be reviewed by the Finance Chair, Business Manager and Superintendent. You will find this and other information by selecting the link “ FY16 Budget” on the right side of the website or click here.
 
The development of the budget may seem like a tedious and complicated process … because it is!  However, the decisions made about the budget will determine the quality of programs and services we are able to provide to the students of our district.  There are multiple opportunities for you to give your input into the process; and you can be assured that our School Board members do listen to what you, the members of the community they serve, have to say.  There are meetings of the Finance Committee, presentations at School Board meetings, and three public forums.  This year the forums will be held in Harpswell, Topsham, and Bowdoinham.  All of the budget meetings that will occur can be found under the FY 16 Budget section to the right of this page or click here.
 
This will be another challenging year in creating a budget that assures we maintain the high quality of education students receive in our schools.  We face increased costs due to salaries and health insurance.  We anticipate declining enrollments for the foreseeable future as yet another impact on the budget.  Charter school enrollments, and current legislative proposals seeking to change how they are funded, create a $1.2 million uncertainty.  The change in the mill rate to our district will add $481,712 to the required local share. Lastly, we will again refrain from using Fund Balance as we had for several years in order to minimize the impact on the local contribution. 
 
Please become informed, and share your input with us.  Our goal is to end up with a budget that reflects the needs of our students, one that our communities can support, and a budget that will ensure students leave our schools ready to take the next step in becoming responsible, contributing citizens in our society.  If I can be of assistance in any way, please feel free to contact me.
 
The following are important dates in the budget development process:
  • March 23 – Public Budget Forum – Harpswell Community School – 6:30 p.m. 
  • March 24 – Public Budget Forum – Woodside Elementary School – 6:30 p.m.    
  • March 31 – Public Budget Forum – Bowdoinham Community School – 6:30 p.m. 
  • May 7 – Budget Public Hearing – Mt. Ararat High School – 6:00 p.m.
  • May 21- District Budget Meeting – Orion Performing Arts Center – 6:30 p.m. 
  • June 9 – Referendum – Town Polling Places
 
Respectfully,
 
Bradley V. Smith
Superintendent of Schools

 
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