Fewer kids, less money

> Declining enrollment in Mont Vernon affects budget

MONT VERNON – De­clining enrollments are reflected in the Village School budget, and a pro­posed spending plan for next year shows a $104,000 decrease from the current budget.

The $4.6 million spend­ing plan for 2016-17 will be reviewed at the School District’s Deliberative Session on Wednesday, Feb. 3, beginning at 7 p.m. in the school library.

That $104,000 decrease would take 93 cents off the school tax rate.

One of the major rea­sons for the decrease is a reduction in tuition pay­ments to Amherst Middle School, where enrollment declines are also be­ing felt, according to the School Board’s handouts at budget hearing earlier this month,

There is also a decrease in another line item: spe­cial education out-of-district placements. And transportation costs are going down because of lower fuel prices.

Not all spending is on the downward side, of course. Salaries and ben­efits went up, and the bud­get includes money for an additional classroom assistant and additional part-time technical sup­port.

There was also a 44 per­cent decline in state rev­enue between 2010 and 2017, from nearly $1.4 mil­lion to less than $800,000.

Other articles on the school district warrant:

  • $30,000 from surplus to establish a capital re­serve fund to educate stu­dents with disabilities.
  • $26,134 for the school’s property maintenance ex­pendable trust fund.
  • $14,216 to pay for equipment and other expenses to begin live streaming of board meet­ings and other town events.

The district is working under a default budget be­cause voters voted down the budget last March. If that happens again, there would be an additional tax rate decrease of 56 cents.

The default budget would mean less money for equipment, technol­ogy, supplies and a class­room assistant for the lower grades of the school for kindergarten through sixth grade, as well as less for building maintenance, technology equipment and staffing.