School budget up 15 percent



MOUNT DESERT — Next year’s budget of $3.82 million for Mount Desert Elementary School (MDES) is $196,578 higher than the budget for the current fiscal year, an increase of 5.43 percent.

That translates into a tax increase of $8.94 per $100,000 of property valuation.

The budget, developed by Principal Scott McFarland and adopted by the MDES school committee last week, will be voted on by residents at town meeting in May.

Salaries and benefits account for more than two-thirds – 68.2 percent – of the budget. And according to McFarland, 96 percent of the increase over the current budget is for salaries, benefits and the school’s share of funding for the school system’s central office functions.

Included in the budget increase is $36,000 for “personnel contingency” in case MDES needs to hire an additional teacher.

Anthem Blue Cross has not yet announced the actual size of the increase in health insurance premiums for next year. School officials hope it will be less than the 10 percent they have factored into the budget. If that is the case, the budget could be revised and the property tax increase reduced slightly.

Student enrollment at MDES, after dropping to a low of 152 in 2009-2010, has been steadily increasing and now stands at 191. McFarland anticipates that number will go up by one next year.

Taylor Bigler Mace

Taylor Bigler Mace

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Taylor covers sports and maritimes for the Islander. As a native of Texas, she is an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan. [email protected]
Taylor Bigler Mace

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