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October 1999


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Moretown Educational <[log in to unmask]>
Wavel Cowen <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 6 Oct 1999 14:58:40 +0000
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Moretown Educational <[log in to unmask]>
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In respect to budget considerations I have a few thoughts that I would
like to put before you for discussion at our next budget meeting.
..... Wavell

1.  A functional budget:  I gather from the Board minutes that there is
general agreement that rearranging the line item budget into a
functional form would be a useful exercise.   I would be quite happy to
create the spread sheet which would automatically redistribute a
standard line item budget into a functional budget, so there is no need
to put things off because of any perceived inadequacy of central office
staff.  What needs to be established are the functional categories
required in order to produce a functional output that is most
meaningful.  I would suggest that the categories I presented in my last
memo (summarized hereafter) be reviewed and that we try and come up with
an initial trial listing that we can use to begin the process.

Suggested categories:
1. Staff Costs  (including salaries and fringe benefits of teachers and
aids plus any contract services)
a.  Regular Education
b. Special Education
c. Remedial Education
2. Facilities  (including debt payments, custodian and maintenance
costs, electricity and heating, telephone, plowing, etc.)
3. Instructional  (including books, copying costs, materials and
supplies, field trips, etc.)
4. Administration  (including salaries and fringe benefits of principal
and exexutive assistant, school board, communication and legal costs,
5. Support Services  (Contract medical and nurse, etc.)
6. Quality Improvement  (including in-service, course work, other action
plan execution costs)
7. Transportation
8. Harwood Assessment

2.  In respect to a ceiling tax rate for local budget being too risky in
view of the uncertainty of state funding:  Perhaps we should develop
what such an approach would look like assuming that the state maintains
its current level of commitment.  That is, we would come up with and
publish a logical tax rate ceiling target and seek to maintain spending
at or below this ceiling.  This would exclude the Harwood assessment,
considering only the elementary school budget and would only be exceeded
to accommodate an identified decline in the state funding commitment.
This would still require the community to vote to allow surplus funds to
be retained in a contingency fund rather than returned to the
community.  This should create an understandable approach to budgeting
based on a tax rate which the community would come to feel as
comfortable.  This approach should deliver an uncontentious and reliable
stream of educational funding probably at a higher average level than if
tax rate yoyoing is allowed to continue.