Up-Island school committee increases budget to $9.3 million

— File photo by Janet Hefler

The Up-Island Regional School District (UIRSD) school committee voted Tuesday to increase its fiscal 2014 operating budget by $99,400 to a total of $9,293,478 million.

The school committee voted on December 17 to certify the FY14 spending plan at $9,194,348, pending the outcome of contract negotiations underway with the Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools’ five bargaining units.

The funds added to the budget include a recently negotiated two percent salary increase for teachers, as well as a placeholder amount for possible salary increases for school personnel in the other bargaining units, whose contract negotiations are pending.

The school committee also voted to re-certify assessments to the member towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark, and West Tisbury.

As a result of the funds added to the budget, assessments for the district’s member towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark and West Tisbury increase to a total of $9,147,410, about 4.67 percent more than FY13. Aquinnah’s assessment is $995,500, Chilmark’s is $2,326,326, and West Tisbury’s is $5,825,584.

Due to enrollment changes, Aquinnah’s assessment increased by 34.59 percent over FY13 and Chilmark’s by 16.64 percent. West Tisbury’s assessment, however, decreased by 2.99 percent.

The meeting, held at the Wampanoag Tribal Building in Aquinnah, began with a discussion between the school committee members, tribe education representatives, and parents.

The discussion, nearly an hour long, was “very positive” and both groups want to continue to build a relationship, superintendent of schools James Weiss said in a phone conversation with The Times yesterday.There are 24 children who live in tribal housing and attend Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools.