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.