Regional high school budget public hearing held


Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) principal Stephen Nixon described the specifics of proposed fiscal year 2015 (FY15) budget at a sparsely attended public hearing Monday night. The $18,650,302 total operating budget is up 4.77 percent from the FY14 budget of $17,801,376. Total assessed expenses are $15,373,459, a 5.96 percent increase over $14,508,963 last year.

“Our goal is to make sure we provide whatever is necessary for children on this Island to be successful in whatever future they engage in,” Mr. Nixon said of the high school’s comprehensive programs.

Of 325 budget line items, Mr. Nixon said 68 percent decreased or remained level. A large percentage of the budget line increases are for salaries, which, at $10,310,039, account for 55 percent of the budget. Contractual increases for teachers, custodians, and secretaries total $201,572. That does not include step and lane changes, and administrative salary changes.

Retirement, debt service and insurance account for $4.5 million, or 25 percent of the budget. Mr. Nixon said only 6 percent of the budget remains after fixed, contractual, and obligatory expenses are budgeted, which include shared services programs, such as Special Education, provided through the superintendent’s office.

Cuts in State and Federal education revenues over the last five years add up to $554,747, Mr. Nixon said. The high school expects a revenue decrease of $15,570 in FY15.

Held in the Performing Arts Center, the budget hearing was attended mostly by school committee members and staff from the high school and superintendent’s office. The MVRHS school committee will vote on the FY15 budget’s certification at its monthly meeting on Monday, December 2, at 7 pm in the library conference room.