FROM THE SCHOOL BOARD
Stowe School District
2019-2020 Proposed School Budget
While we pursue legal and legislative solutions regarding the State Board of Education’s forced merger ruling, we have an agreement that allows us to develop budgets for Elmore-Morristown and Stowe respectively and prepare for operations under our current structure. In the event our appeal is successful or there is a delay in the implementation of Act 46, these proposed budgets are the foundations for our operations in support of our students for the coming year. Early voting on board members and budgets for EMUU and Stowe has started, or you may vote on Town Meeting Day, March 5, 2019. Your vote is important!
Net FY20 Budget: The total proposed school district budget is $12,776,450. The FY20 budget reflects an increase of $697,175 or 5.8%. The number of equalized pupils is up slightly from FY19 by 0.29 to 761.97. The projected Education Spending per Equalized Pupil is up 5.8% to $15,805.
Tax Rates: The tax rate impacts of the FY20 budget translate to an estimated increase in the Local Homestead Tax Rate of 5.0 cents and a decrease in the local income sensitivity rate of 0.001%
The Local Homestead Tax Rate is projected to increase by 5.0 cents to 1.569. The estimated residential tax rate impact on a property valued at $250,000 would be $124. Households with income under $90,000 receive an Income Sensitivity credit which reduces the impact of the tax rate increase noted above.
The Non-Homestead Tax Rate is projected to increase by 3.1 cents to $1.673. Non-Homestead Tax Rates are not directly affected by our local school budget; they are affected by CLA and statewide education spending.
General Fund Balance: As of June 30, 2018, the fund balance was $1,128,050. The voters approved $300,000 as revenue to offset the FY19 expenditures and a $300,000 transfer to the Capital Fund. For FY20, the board recommends applying $300,000 as revenue to offset the proposed FY20 budget expenditures. This leaves $228,050 of unassigned fund balance for future expenses with approval of the electorate.
Programs and Personnel: The proposed FY20 Stowe School District budget maintains current levels of programming and staffing in all areas. There is an increase of .2 FTE for Art at Stowe Elementary, an additional 1.0 FTE at Stowe High School to support the implementation of an Internship Program, an increase of .25 FTE Athletic Director and resources added for Artists in Residence to support instrumental music instruction. Also included are additional resources to provide mental health and substance abuse prevention support for K-12 students.
Compensation and Benefits: The budget includes a 12% increase in health insurance premiums based on VEHI rate changes. Salary and benefits have been adjusted consistent with discussions in anticipation of negotiations.
Capital Fund: As of July 1, 2018, there was a balance of $975,084 in the Capital Fund. Fiscal year to date spending as of December 31, 2018, totals $229,500, bringing the fund balance to approximately $746,000. The budget provides for a $150,000 to assist in funding capital needs. The board proposes to use $631,000 for needed repairs at both Stowe Elementary and Stowe Middle/High School.