The All-Island School Committee (AISC) approved a $4.042 million fiscal year 2013 (FY13) budget requested by Martha’s Vineyard superintendent of schools James Weiss on November 2.
Mr. Weiss’s budget includes expenses for operations and personnel in the superintendent’s office, as well as shared services and programs, including special education, which are provided through his office.
The costs of shared services and programs are divided among the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School District and the Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and Up-Island Regional school districts.
Mr. Weiss presented his draft FY13 budget, up from $3.85 million in FY12, to the AISC on October 20. He explained that a large part of the 4.96 percent increase in next year’s budget is due to the need for more special education (SPED) support staff to handle an influx of students with complex disabilities. Additional SPED staff and program changes for FY13 total $130,843.
The AISC voted 10 to 1 to approve the superintendent’s budget. Up-Island Regional School District committee member Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter of West Tisbury cast the dissenting vote.
Mr. Manter said he thought a pool of money set aside in Mr. Weiss’s budget for potential salary increases for administrators and non-union personnel is too much.
Mr. Manter also said he was concerned about the economic burden of salaries and benefits for the additional SPED personnel and suggested perhaps other less essential personnel could be cut to offset the budget increases.