To the Editor:
budget presented to voters on March 9th was
$803,254 more than the proposed operating budget
that was eventually passed that day. But
why, and what is a default budget?
A default budget is intended to provide a safety
net so a school has a budget to carry on all the
same programs in the next school year as they
are doing in this school year if the budget
article doesn’t pass.
The default budget is a simple calculation that
starts with this year's budget then adds and
subtracts money for existing contracts and
one-time expenditures. The default budget
includes all the teacher, support staff, and
administrative salary increases, as well as
adjustments for energy costs and other items we
have contracts for. It is important to
note that the default budget starts with this
year’s budget, not what is spent or intended
to be spent.
At the school deliberative session on February
1st, the school board indicated that they were
not expecting to spend about $610,000 of this
year’s budget. If we can get through
this year’s budget by not spending that
$610,000, then we can subtract that amount from
the default budget in order to get a
"flat" budget. A "flat"
budget still has all the contractual increases
and other adjustments with only one difference:
it’s starts with this year’s expected spending,
not this year’s budget.
The math is simple: Start with the
$803,254 difference we talked about in the first
paragraph and take out the $610,000 and we get
the “flat” budget difference of $193,254
($803,254 - $610,000 = $193,254). This is the
reduction that needs to be made to this year’s
expected spending to get to next year’s
So let’s ask these questions of the School
- Can the
proposed reductions by the school board that
do not include laying off teachers cover
- Do any of
the proposed reductions include the budget
lines that aren’t expected to be spent
should prove interesting.
Name withheld upon request