Originally published in Castine Patriot, February 9, 2017
Castine School Board opens budget process
by Monique Labbe
The Castine School Board started the process of putting together the budget for the 2017-18 school year during its February 1 meeting. The total budget according to the first draft is $1,486,325, up $40,894, or 2.83 percent, from the current budget of $1,445,430.
The major contributor to the rise in the budget is a $20,667 increase to the special education program. The bulk of that increase is due to additional funds budgeted for course and tuition reimbursement (up $3,136 from last year) and for professional development and conferences (up $2,995 from last year). Adams School principal Katie Frothingham also noted that the budget for speech pathology services would be going up as well, as Union 93 is now contracting out for those services instead of hiring an employee.
Union 93 Superintendent Mark Hurvitt informed the board that Special Education Director Sheila Irvine would be at the next meeting to discuss the special education budget in full.
Two areas that have decreased in the budget’s first draft are the total funds allotted to the office of the superintendent and the director of special services funds, according to information in the draft. The reason for both lines being lower this year is because of a lower amount of funding needed for assessment. The office of the superintendent is down $1,618, from $57,566 in 2016-17, to $55,948 this year. The director of special services account is down $841, from $24,311 last year to $23,469 this year.
Board members, along with Frothingham and Hurvitt, will continue the budget process and hope to have a finalized budget in place by the end of the month.