Matt Haney, principal of MDI High School. Haney said that though spending at the school will rise 4.18 percent, increased revenue from the state and sending towns will mean the increase to local tax payers will be less. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

High School budget vote turnout tiny

BAR HARBOR — Of the 9,239 registered voters on Mount Desert Island, just 21 turned out April 5 to approve a $10.5 million budget for MDI High School next year. That is a voter turnout rate of .22 percent.

And 18 of those who voted were either school board members or school employees.

All of the warrant articles for the budget meeting passed unanimously.

Next year’s budget is 4.18 percent higher than the budget for the current year. But the total assessment to the four MDI towns, which operate the school, is going up by only 2.24 percent.

That is primarily due to increases on the revenue side of the budget, Principal Matt Haney explained.

“We will be receiving more money from the state than we thought we were going to,” he said. “We also have a decent amount of carryover from last year’s budget, and we have some increased revenue from tuition.”

Non-MDI towns pay tuition for their students to attend the high school.

Salaries and benefits for teachers and staff will total just under $6.5 million next year, or 62 percent of the overall budget.

Haney said of the budgeting process, “It’s been a good collaborative effort. I think we’ve worked hard to build a responsible budget that meets the needs of this outstanding school.

“This has been a fabulous year. Our students have achieved many, many things, primarily within the walls of this building.”

He also acknowledged the non-academic accomplishments, which included state championships in basketball, track and drama.

“It’s a great time to be a student, a parent and a community member on this island and in this Acadia region,” he said.


Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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