Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School budget at $16.9 million

— File photo by Ralph Stewart

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) will hold a public hearing on a proposed $16,938,267 fiscal year 2013 (FY13) budget on November 28. The hearing starts at 7 pm in the Performing Arts Center.

The new budget is two percent higher than the FY12 budget of $16,603,131.

“The major increases are contractual, such as health insurance, salaries, and longevity pay,” school business administrator Amy Tierney said in a recent phone conversation with The Times.

For example, teachers will receive a 2.75 percent salary increase, plus steps and increased longevity stipends, in the FY13 budget, based on a contract signed in 2010.

Other notable increases include the cost of additional special education assistants, from $186,535 in FY12 to $247,715 in FY13, related to a reorganization of an alternative education program next year. Individual education plan expenses will increase from $50,000 in FY12 to $85,000 in FY13, based upon current student needs.

Salary lines for the math and science departments reflect increases for a new part-time math teacher that will be hired next year, budget reorganization, and contractual changes.

Among program changes planned for FY13, the STAR (Students and Teachers Achieving Results) and the Rebecca Amos Institute programs will be combined.

The STAR program provides extra academic help for a group of 9th and 10th graders within the high school. The Rebecca Amos Institute, housed in a separate building on the high school campus, offers an alternative program for 11th and 12th graders.

A new emotional behavioral coordinator will be hired for the combined program at a salary of $78,200, Ms. Tierney said.

The vocational department’s early childhood education program will also change. A reduction of $11,000 in the program’s FY13 line item reflects a plan to begin phasing it out. The program currently has six students and one teacher. Starting next year, no new students will be accepted into the program, so that it may be discontinued after the current students cycle through in about two and a half years.

There are no other program cuts.

The total fixed costs in the FY13 budget decreased from $4.98 million to $4.76 million, mostly due to decreases in debt service. Ms. Tierney said revenue and reimbursements are going down because of the economy, and adjustments in the budget were made accordingly.

The MVRHS school committee voted earlier this month to use the state’s statutory formula to determine town assessments for the FY13 budget.

Those are calculated on the basis of preliminary estimates of Chapter 70 school aid and net school spending requirements issued by the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), usually in January or early February.

After receiving funding information from the state, Ms. Tierney will determine the Island’s town assessments for the high school’s funding by using the state’s statutory assessment formula. It takes into account factors such as enrollment, local contributions from the towns, net school spending apportionments, transportation, other operating costs, capital costs, and debt service costs.

The MVRHS school committee will vote on the FY13 budget’s certification at a meeting on December 5.