Thoughts on the FY13 MURSD Budget

Sunday, March 18, 2012 0 Comments A + a -

Tomorrow (Monday, March 19) marks the annual Open Budget Hearing for the Mendon-Upton Regional School District Budget for the 2012-13 school year.  It is at 7:00 pm in the Nipmuc Auditorium.  If you cannot make it, it will be streamed live on the Town Hall Streams website.  On that same site you may also watch an archived video of the forum.

The Regional School Committee will be voting to certify an operational budget of $27,834,228 for fiscal year 2013.  This conservative budget represents an increase of $187,719 or 0.68% over the current year's operational budget of $27,646,509.  With this very modest increase, there will be no request for a Proposition 2 1/2 override from either community.

The creation of the FY13 budget was a collaborative process that began last August, when the Regional School Committee began meeting with the Boards of Selectmen and Finance Committees from both town. These monthly meetings, known as "Multi-Board Meetings," have been a positive development in that both school and town representatives have been engaging in regular, meaningful dialogue about each side's needs and potential revenue, for FY13 and beyond.

Our goals for the proposed FY13 MURSD Budget were the following:

  1. To stabilize the district- educationally and financially- while we collaboratively build a new strategic plan to guide our programming over the next five years.
  2. To create a level services budget, i.e., to keep the existing programs and staff that we have in place, ending the cycle of cuts that the district has suffered over the past four years.
  3. To develop a budget that is conservative and mindful of the current revenues that are available at the state and local levels.
  4. To work collaboratively with both towns in order to end the divisiveness that has existed in recent years.
I strongly believe that the proposed budget successfully meets all of these goals.

While I am very confident that we will continue to improve teaching and learning in our district, I caution that the FY13 budget is about stabilization, not growth.  I am excited to commence the strategic planning process this spring as the feedback I have received from parents and staff alike is that they want our district to be competitive and forward-thinking.  Our district must forge forward with new programs for our children, such as universal full-day kindergarten, more STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) offerings at all levels, and expanded opportunities for career exploration.  A new strategic plan will enable our district to craft a vision of how we will expand our programming, with specific goals and objectives.  These goals and objectives will guide our budgeting for FY14 and beyond.

Below is the PowerPoint presentation that I will deliver at the Open Budget Hearing.

MURSD Open Budget Hearing Presentation March 19, 2012
View more PowerPoint from jpm66

Here is the Proposed FY13 Budget Handout that will be shared at the Open Budget Hearing:

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to post them in the comments section below or as always, feel free to e-mail me.