Board begins preliminary school budget review

Vassalboro Community School. (source:

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro School Board members began review of the preliminary 2019-2020 school budget at their Feb. 12 meeting, despite missing several major pieces.

Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer, Principal Megan Allen and personnel from what used to be the Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS) #92 office presented four budget categories: athletics, special services, district technology and health services.

At this early stage, the athletics budget is almost $39,000, up $3,600 from the current year; the special services budget is $1.4 million, about $39,000 lower than the current year’s; the technology budget is less than $61,000, down almost $13,000; and the health services budget is over $71,000, an increase of a little more than $1,400.

These very preliminary figures total less than $1.7 million. The current year’s total budget as approved at the June 2018 town meeting is more than $7.5 million. Major expenditures not discussed at the Feb. 12 meeting include the total instruction budget, which is tentatively over $2.8 million (including athletics), and tuition.

Pfeiffer said he has the state-set tuition rates for the secondary schools Vassalboro students attend, but does not yet have figures on how many students plan to attend each school next year.

The superintendent expects the special services budget to increase slightly. “Federal mandates, federal laws, the state – that’s a huge piece” of expenditures, and failure to comply invites lawsuits, Pfeiffer said.

Emphasizing that the Feb. 12 figures are preliminary and changeable, Pfeiffer asked school board members to study and think about them. The board scheduled a budget workshop for 6 p.m. Monday, March 4, before the next regular meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 19.

In other business Feb. 12, board members unanimously approved a policy on service animals at Vassalboro Community School. They accepted Pfeiffer’s offer to create procedures to go with a proposed policy on use of video cameras on school property.


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