The School Committee is responsible for defining school policies and establishing the school budget.
As of mid February
2014, the 2014-2015 school budget had been presented to the School Committee at two public budget meetings. The school Committee formally adopted the FY15 budget on March 13, 2014. It was presented to the Town Council on March 27, 2014 for the purpose of review and support, and discussed at the first public budget hearing on April 10, 2014. The School Committee then lowered the budget from a 2.1% expenditure increase to an expenditure increase of 1.8%. An estimated increase in state subsidy for FY15 is expected to help reduce the overall tax burden on Yarmouth taxpayers. On May 1, 2014, the Town Council voted to advance the budget for consideration at a Town Meeting on June 3, 2014
at Harrison Middle School followed by a Budget Validation Referendum on June 10, 2014. The FY15 budget was approved at the Town Meeting and then at referendum.
2014-15 school budget will increase school expenditures by only 1.8%.
School administrators and the School Committee have worked very hard to develop a budget that maintains programming and is as fiscally conservative as possible. For example, there are no new programs and two fewer positions in the 2014-15 school budget.
Prior school budgets have been similarly conservative: 2009-10, 1.85%; 2010-11, 0%; 2011-12, 1.75%; 2012-13, 1.85%; 2013-14, 3.1% (1.8% w/out mandated teacher retirement funding.) Student enrollment has increased by more than 5% during this period (2014-15 projection is 1,482).
The School Committee historically has been accountable for expenditures, but not revenues (which are out of the control of the schools and can vary from year to year). However, the School Committee does monitor revenue closely, especially the “subsidy” from the State of Maine. The latest state subsidy figures received from the Department of Education on 4/18/14 show that Yarmouth Schools will possibly be receiving an additional $561,000 over actual subsidy for Fy14. These figures won't be final until the state officially passes its budget later in the spring.
Note of Caution
The budget is presented here to provide full transparency of where taxpayer money is spent. However, the budget includes roughly 1,500 separate line items and most items require some explanation. Anyone with questions should attend an upcoming School Committee meeting or Public Hearing.
Links below will break down the Proposed Budget by Area.
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