What's behind the numbers in Island school budgets?
School spending accounts for the largest share of taxpayer expenditures in town budgets. In total, Islanders budgeted a $41.2 million operating budget for five school systems for fiscal year 2010.
The five school systems include elementary schools in Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Tisbury, and two regional school districts, the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School District, and the Up-Island Regional School District, which includes Chilmark School and West Tisbury School.
School budgets Island-wide include several components. The superintendent's budget covers his office expenses and staff, as well as shared services that the superintendent's handles for schools Island-wide.
Special education services account for the biggest percentage of the shared programs budget, including student support services, Project Headway, the Bridge Program, an early childhood program, psychologists, an occupational therapist, speech and language therapy, and special education (SPED) transportation.
Other shared programs in the superintendent's budget provide Island-wide enrichment and outreach programs for all schools.
In FY10 these include grade 8 honors algebra, choir, elementary strings, intramural athletics, the Yard dance program in elementary schools, and the Felix Neck environmental program. The shared services budget also includes funds for professional development and network support for all MVPS staff.
The superintendent's budget for FY10 is $3.5 million.
Superintendent's office/shared services programs FY10 assessments by school district:
Oak Bluffs $938,090
High school budget and assessments
MVRHS FY10 operating budget: $16,460,783 (includes payroll obligations, transportation, benefits, insurance, capital costs, and debt reduced by general fund revenues)
Regional high school FY10 assessments by town:
Oak Bluffs $3,298,182
West Tisbury $2,076,263
Other school district FY10 operating budgets
Edgartown School K-8: $5,699,456
Oak Bluffs School K-8: $5,840,645
Tisbury School K-8: $4,889,040
The operating budgets for the Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Tisbury schools do not include insurance, benefits and payroll obligations for staff, capital costs or debt reduced by general fund revenues, which are paid by the towns.
Up-Island Regional School District (UIRSD): $8,369,134
This figure represents the total UIRSD budget for the Chilmark (K-5) and West Tisbury (K-8) Schools. It includes payroll obligations, benefits, insurance, capital costs, and debt reduced by general fund revenues. Operating budgets are not calculated separately for the two schools.
UIRSD FY10 assessments by member towns:
West Tisbury $5,421,068
Island towns also are assessed for tuition for students who attend the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School. The DESE calculates a per-pupil tuition rate for all school districts, which is allocated for each child enrolled at the Charter School. Because Martha's Vineyard is not regionalized as a whole, the Island's school districts have five different tuition rates.