Calais School Committee Holds Budget Workshop

By Kaileigh Deacon

The Calais School committee held a special budget workshop on Monday. The committee reviewed the first draft of the proposed budget before the School Liaison Committee meets on March 25. The budget was not available for public view as of yet as it is still preliminary copy.

Superintendent Moholland and the School Committee members sat and went over the budget line by line so they could examine any increases or decreases to certain lines. One of the lines that saw an increase was the line for Equipment and Technology. Superintendent explained that this was because of the bigger need for technology in the school. This is due to the increase in needs for technology for testing as well as other aspects of education. 

There were several decreases in different lines of the budget as well that will become more clear as the budget is finalized and some of the things that are still up in the air,  like teacher retirements, are completed. 

Superintendent Moholland told the School Committee that he was still looking at ways to decrease the budget and apply for grants for aspects of the budget where they would be applicable for example the fire science program. 

There was an increase in the Student and Staff Support Staff line at the elementary school which would increase the budget. This item Principal Sue Carter explained was for the hiring of a social worker at the elementary school. 

Carter: Our elementary school has lots of student who need a little extra support. I think that if we could provided some small counseling or some individual counseling it might keep some kids from going to Special Ed to get that extra support. [. . .] I don’t think we’re doing a service to our kids unless we can see the whole kid and that’s part of it.

Carter’s request for a social worker was heard and taken under advisement but the school committee took no action on approving or denying the request since none was needed at this time. 

Due to the cold winter this year the school committee increased the fuel budget as this year’s was overspent. The increase is just to take into account another potentially cold winter like there has been this year. 

Another consideration to the budget the committee looked at was the open positions within the Calais school system, five of which are at the elementary school. The elementary school is looking at hiring 1 kindergarten teacher, 2 second grade teachers, one fifth grade teacher, and a Title 1 instructor. There are ten positions in all in the Calais School System that are open. 

The Committee ended the workshop stating that there would be time allotted at the end of the next school committee meeting for further discussion on the budget before they finalize the first draft they will present to the School Liaison committee on March 25. 

The next regularly scheduled school committee meeting is scheduled for March 17. 

 

Due to the storm on Tuesday, March 17, The Calais School Committee meeting was postponed until Tuesday, March 24, 2015.  The same Agenda will be followed.