TO THE CITIZENS OF RSU 3

The RSU 3 Administrators and School Board have worked to develop and adopt a budget that balances the needs of our taxpayers, while remaining focused on the needs of our students. The FY18 proposed budget represents an overall expenditure budget of $20,654,000 for the school year beginning July 1, 2017.

The FY18 budget does reflect an increase of $395,000, or 1.95% as compared to FY17. This is our actual budget increase for the operation of the school system including salary and benefits, transportation, athletics, etc. In addition to our contracted salary and benefit obligations, this increase includes one new teaching position that will be charged with continuing the gardening programs at Troy Central, Walker Elementary, Morse Memorial, and Monroe Elementary Schools; updated math instructional materials for all elementary schools; and, the first payment for our Energy Savings Renovation Projects at Unity School, Troy Central School, and the Mount View Complex. While the Administrators and the Board of Directors are focused on the specific needs of our students, we are also keenly aware of the impact that the school budget has on local taxpayers. Thus, the budget that the Board of Directors has presented to you is the Board’s best attempt to balance these two important needs.  

With an increase of 1.95% to the overall budget/expenditures, the local tax assessments will rise by $542,443, or 6.64%. This increase is partially due to a $129,443 reduction in state subsidy, resulting from property valuation increases in the towns of RSU 3; a slight decrease in the student population of RSU 3; and the Governor’s proposed budget that made more than 40 changes to the Essential Programs and Services (EPS) funding formula, including the elimination of all funding for the RSU 3 Board of Directors, Central Office Operations, and Superintendent’s Office. The preliminary 2017-18 MILL Cap is set at 8.29% compared to 8.30% in 2016-17.   It is important to know that legislators are working hard to improve funding for education this year, and we believe that by the time a state budget is adopted in Augusta, our district will benefit from additional funding. Thus, the Board has approved that any and all additional funding we receive from the state will be used to reduce the tax burden on our towns.  

The Administrators and the School Board are appreciative of the support that our schools receive from the towns and people of the district. As a direct result of your support, we have been able to continue to provide quality programs to the children of RSU 3. As we look to 2017-18, we will continue to focus on priority areas such as the implementation of our Proficiency Based System of Education, building student centered learning environments that support student growth, providing access to 21st century learning tools for our students, and promoting postsecondary planning and aspirations – all aimed at improving the overall achievement and success of our students.

As your Superintendent, I recognize that I am fortunate to have such a wonderful community of students and parents, an excellent teaching and support staff, outstanding educational leaders, and strong community support. With all of these, I remain optimistic about the future of RSU 3 and about fulfilling the mission and vision of the district. Thank you for your continued support of RSU 3, our students, our programs, and our staff!

Sincerely,

Paul Austin.

Superintendent of Schools

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