Grasping The Kingdom East Budget

kingdomeastmeetingLYNDON- The newly formed Kingdom East school district’s finance committee is in the process of creating its budget.

The only problem is that the committee has a long list of their own homework that they have to get done. There are many factors and considerations that the district has to study up on to combine the budgets of seven Northeast Kingdom Schools that include Lyndon Town School, Sutton School, Newark School, Millers Run School, Burke Town School, Concord School and Lunenburg. 

 

 

The major factors of the budget are state formulas and student numbers, certain programs that are being offered, staff salary and technology.

 

One of the biggest issues is the state formulas because it is so unpredictable. Schools in Vermont create their budget locally for their own district and the there is a state formula which they must follow. The formula is based on the number of students that you have in a district. This can be an issue because it is hard to predict the number of students that a district or a single school in the district might have. The amount of money a district can receive can change at times as well as when the legislature changes their laws on the budgets. “We don’t really know whats going to happen right now because changes may happen at the end of this legislative session explains Jenn Botzojorns, Superintendent of the Kingdom East district. Botzojorns also explains that last legislative session there were in fact changes. “Last session there was a whole change is health insurance cost and so they had what are called clawback dollars so we had to cut our budget by the dollar amount that the state set.” 

 

For certain programs some schools in the district might be looking for more learning programs to be offered and that can be costly. At the Concord school they are looking for more opportunities for their students to learn more programs. “We were looking at a way to offer programs across our school system, there are differences among our schools and we a looking for a way to offer equality to our children to learn more programs.” says Cynthia Staurt Kingdom East board member representing the Concord School. 

 

A way to balance the budget for that could be helped with technology Staurt explains. “An example would be a language program, a way to offer it outside of the box is to offer it thought technology.” 

 

To cut spending, the schools might have one language teacher and have her teach a class through Skype that way they would only have to pay salary for just the one teacher. The district now has to also look at the teacher contracts for the two school systems that will be combined into Kingdom East which is CNSU and ECSU. “We need to go through negotiations to make sure that those contracts align and that we come up with the one contract.” CNSU is made up of Lyndon, Sutton. Burke, Millers Run, and Newark. The ECSU is made up of Concord and Lunenburg.

 

The budget will also have an “Erate” which is the part of the budget that is used for technology. “Some people use pc’s, chrome books and macs, so thats just one example of how you have to look at the big picture and decide if you want ti bulk purchase to save money.” says Botzojorns. All the moving parts are not in place so at this time it isn’t certain how the district will pay for technology but they are in the process with the the “Erate”. 

 

The committee has only had three meetings so far. 

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