Mascenic budget hearing next week

  • Mascenic Regional High School Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 12/31/2020 10:56:38 AM
Modified: 12/31/2020 10:56:28 AM

The Mascenic School District heads into next week’s budget hearing with only a small increase from last year’s budget, but facing some steep decreases in its revenue, after more than 140 students left the district this year, resulting in vastly reduced state aid.

The district has scheduled its budget hearing, followed by a virtual town hall, for next week to allow residents to review the budget and ask questions. The currently proposed budget for 2021-22 is $19,254,693.

The proposal is .34 percent more than the default budget for the year. The default budget is last year’s budget with certain contracted increases, and minus one-time expenditures. If voters do not vote for the proposed budget, the district operates under the default budget.

Last year’s budget was a default budget, and including the approved collective bargaining agreement, was $19,188,873.

However, while the budget hasn’t increased significantly, the district does anticipate less revenue coming to the district from the state, for adequacy aid – which is calculated based on student population – as well as aid for students with free and reduced lunch.

The total gap between last year’s aid and this year’s is $533,825.

In addition to that, last year the district received a one-time grant fund from the state to bolster adequacy aid. That grant was about $355,356 for Greenville and $800,900 for New Ipswich, or a total of $1.16 million for the district, and those funds aren’t available this year.

The budget included the addition of a new board certified behavior analyst position, with a salary and benefit package of $93,834. The cost of the new position is absorbed with funds used last year for contracted services.

The budget has gone up in certain areas, including the district’s contribution to the New Hampshire retirement plan for staff, which increased by about $257,018 for teachers and $28,203 for other staff. There is also a 3.3 percent increase in health insurance rates and an estimated increase of 10 percent in dental rates for staff insurances.

The district is also anticipating spending $90,000 for re-licensing curriculum materials.

In addition to the budget, the district is also proposing two other monetary warrant articles.

Article 3 requests the district use $20,000 from unspent funds at the end of the year to be added to the Healthcare Capital Reserve Fund. This fund is used is staff change their health care plan to a more expensive one after the budget process has finished.

Article 4 requests the district use $21,000 from unspent funds at the end of the year for a capital reserve fund for food service equipment.

The district is also voting this year on a single School Board seat to represent the town of New Ipswich for three years.

The Mascenic Regional School District will hold a Virtual Public Hearing followed by a Virtual Town Hall proposed budget on Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. Sign in information is available on mascenic.org. Petition warrant articles must be submitted to the School Board or one of its members or at the superintendent’s office by 4 p.m. on Jan. 8 for bond issues or Jan. 12 for any other matter. Petition articles must be signed by at least 25 registered voters.


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