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The Middlefield Board of Finance is pleased to endorse the RSD-13 budget proposal for FY-20.
The dstrict administration’s initial proposal offered a well-reasoned match of priorities to strategic objectives and student needs. Their net budget proposal, essentially flat year to year (only .06 percent up), also reflected ongoing discussions of town situations with officials in both Durham and Middlefield.
Subsequent Board of Education and administration budget changes recognized new pressures on the towns from the governor’s budget proposal. That plan includes cuts of over $593,000 in combined educational cost sharing (state ECS funding to towns) and an increased towns funding requirement to the teachers retirement fund of nearly $115,000.
The BOE adopted this two-part total of $708,000 as a target for budget reduction. The current district budget proposal has achieved that savings, and more, through staffing adjustment and major benefits savings.
It’s important to understand the large benefit/insurance cost reduction was a result of excellent collaboration between the district administration and both town first selectmen and finance managers. By understanding common objectives, they selected a new benefits coordinator who solicited highly-reduced, competitive insurance quotes for this shared services plan.
Overall, the BOE is currently proposing a FY-20 budget with spending flat vs. FY-19. The “net budget” is down 2.47 percent. It provides student programs that move the district forward toward strategic initiatives, yet is responsive to town challenges.
The Middlefield Board of Finance recommends that voters pass this RSD-13 budget referendum.
Jim IrishMiddlefieldBoard of Finance chair
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