Proposed Brunswick High School budget increases spending by 19 percent

Posted April 03, 2014, at 4 p.m.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Budget proposals presented to the Brunswick School Board on Wednesday for Brunswick High School, its athletic department and Region Ten Technical High School seek a combined increase of nearly 12 percent for the next fiscal year.

Wednesday’s meeting was the second-to-last hearing before the board votes April 30 on the school budget for 2015 fiscal year. The board is expected to hear public comment and a budget proposal for adult education on April 16.

The high school is seeking the largest increase of the three: nearly 19 percent, to almost $468,000.

The proposed appropriation for Region Ten Technical High School seeks the second-largest increase, just over 10 percent, to nearly $783,000.

The high school’s athletic department seeks a nearly 2 percent increase, to about $208,000.

The largest portion of the high school’s proposed more than $74,000 increase comes from nearly $27,000 in expenditures for new math and world language textbooks and new band equipment.

Another $21,000 of the high school’s proposed increase comes from the principal’s office. More than $16,000 will be used for expenses related to taking the high school through a re-accreditation process with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The remainder will be used for software to handle activity accounts recommended by the School Department’s auditors.

Other proposed high school expenditures are nearly $13,000 for new cafeteria chairs, a nearly $5,000 increase for the school’s network printers, and almost $1,000 for an increased photocopier maintenance contract.

The proposed nearly $74,000 increase for the town’s appropriation to Regional Ten Technical High School largely comes from an increase of enrollment and less carry-over money from this year.

The costs of the technical high school are shared with Regional School Unit 5, which includes Durham, Freeport and Pownal, and School Administrative District 75, which includes Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell and Topsham.

A memo for the technical high school notes that the school has been attempting to keep costs down, including reducing staffing “when individual programs lacked adequate enrollment.” The memo also notes the budget has been kept down with $86,000 in state and local grants.

The proposed nearly $4,000 increase for the high school’s athletic department isn’t attributed to any major increases for particular budget items, but rather small increases across several accounts. In some parts of the budget, proposed expenditures actually decline.

Last week, the board heard budget proposals from the town’s two elementary schools, Brunswick Junior High School and the School Department’s technology department that seeks a combined increase of nearly 43 percent. Out of the four budgets, the technology department seeks the largest increase: nearly 59 percent to over $661,000.

The town-wide referendum on the school budget will be held on June 10.

 

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