MVRHS committee approves $21.2 million budget

With full board, committee is able to set its spending plan.

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The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Committee on Monday night approved a $21.2 million operating budget for the high school in fiscal year 2019.

The committee voted 7-1-1 to approve the budget. The meeting was rescheduled from Dec. 4 because two board members were absent. State law requires all nine members to vote on budgets.

Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter of West Tisbury cast the lone dissenting vote. New Oak Bluffs representative Kathryn Shertzer abstained from the vote. Ms. Shertzer this month replaced Michael Hoyt, who left the committee recently.

In deliberations last week, the school committee made only one change to the budget, transferring a project to replace coolers in the school’s cafeteria and culinary area from the excess and deficiencies (E&D) account to a line item in the operating budget.

That move added $43,377, to increase the final budget to $21.2 million.

The budget, which underwent six iterations and reviews, is 7.36 percent higher than than the FY 2018 operating budget. About 6 percent of the 7.36 percent relates to contractual obligations of pay raises, a 15 percent increase in health insurance premiums, and contributions to retired employee benefits and pension obligations.

On a line-by-line comparison, the budget is 1.76 percent greater than the current year. MVRHS Principal Sara Dingledy last week described the budget as a ”responsible, sustainable, and accurate reflection of school costs.”