by Mary Grow
The Vassalboro school department will end the fiscal year in the black, but just barely, AOS (Alternative Organizational Structure) #92 officials said at the June 20 School Board meeting.
“We’re coming in on fumes,” Superintendent Eric Haley said.
Finance Director Paula Pooler said with 10 days remaining in the fiscal year, she expected an extra payroll for non-teaching staff whose school year was extended because of numerous snow days, plus a few more bills for services and supplies. The 2016-17 budget should cover everything, she said, but only by spending everything authorized, including reserve funds.
When school board members approved the 2017-18 budget, they funded it partly with the remaining money in the reserve fund, hoping to add unspent money to it after June 30. Pooler thinks additions unlikely.
With the state legislature unable to agree on state school funding for 2017-18, that income sources is still an unknown quantity. The budget Vassalboro voters approved at town meeting takes $338,681 from local taxes to fund the school budget, and requires the school department to return to the town any unplanned state revenue up to the $338,681.
In other business June 20, board members approved two new hires, both warmly welcomed by Vassalboro Community School Principal Dianna Gram. Arielle Jurdak-Roy will teach first grade, and Kate-Lynn Tarr will teach kindergarten.
Board members authorized Superintendent Haley to issue contracts to staff hired between board meetings, since the board will not meet again until August.
They accepted the resignation of Guidance Counselor Erin Brousseau, who Gram said is accepting a new position out of the area. Gram called her departure “a loss to Vassalboro.”
They approved the 2017-18 school calendar, with Thursday, Aug. 31, the first day of classes. Three snow days are scheduled; if no more are needed, the school year will end Friday, June 15, 2018.
The next Vassalboro School Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening, Aug. 15.