Dorchester District Two is expecting a tight budget for the 2014-2015 school year.
Although anticipated revenue for the new school year is expected to be higher than the 2013-2014 school year, projected expenditures appear to be higher as well.
Prior to the DD2 board meeting on March 24, board members held a workshop to discuss the 2014-2015 projected school budget, as presented by Director of Business Services Allyson Duke.
With incoming revenue the projected budget for next school year is $166,670,853 – $4 million more than this current year’s revised budget.
However, the district is expecting a larger staff for the next school year, with 20 additional teaching positions to fill. With a step increase for teachers, as well for all other employees, plus an 8 percent increase in employer health costs and increase in retirement benefit cost, a total of $4,250,000 is expected in salaries and benefits alone. There is an additional $200,000 from a 5 percent increase in cost with the district’s contract with Durham Transportation. All other expenditures remain at fiscal year 2013-2014 amounts. The projected amount of expenditures for 2014-2015 amount to $167,616,063. Ergo there is $945,210 in expenditures over revenues.
Expenditures over revenues for 2013-2014 accumulate to $641,291.
Possible variables or options to generate additional revenues include a millage increase to CPI of 1.46 percent, which would produce $540,000; a millage increase to growth factor, which is unknown at this time; and $300,000 from the projected student growth of 600 students.
Should funds become available DD2 would like 10 additional teaching positions for growth, which would cost $65,000. DD2 would also like additional school resource officers in elementary schools, plus assistant principals at Alston and Rollings Middle Schools and three middle school guidance counselors. DD2 would also like to upgrade on technology software and hardware needs and employ a CATE/Work-Based Learning Coordinator.
“It continues to be a tough budget time for us,” Duke said. “I don’t know when it’s going to get better.”
Despite the tight budget Superintendent Joseph Pye pointed out that DD2 has, luckily, not had to make employee cuts.
“I want the public to see we have lots of needs,” Pye said. “We are growing by leaps and bounds.”