Monday, January 29, 2018

MERSD FY19 Budget Hearing

Public Hearing on the FY19 Budget
January 30th  @ 7:00pm 
Essex Elementary School Cafeteria

Presentation of the FY19 Budget followed by public input. This is an opportunity for  the community to learn, ask questions, and provide feedback about our proposed budget for FY19. 

As outlined at the Tentative Budget Public Hearing on December 13, 2017, the district is facing a projected $735,000 (16%) increase in health care costs.  This increase follows a 28% increase in fiscal year 2018, for a total increase of $1.5 million dollars in two years.  The cause of the increase is not due to changes in plan design but rather a significant and atypical increase in catastrophic cases.  The increased cost of health care will exceed available funds under a level services budget, leaving no additional funds to manage annual increased costs and program investments.  Our current fiscal situation will require us to make some difficult choices going forward.  In the short-term, to manage the FY19 budget, we are looking at efficiencies in the areas of services, fees, staffing and program. Long-term we will be looking at the structure and sustainability of the current health care benefits plan.

Manchester Essex Regional School District (MERSD) is committed to a collaborative approach to budget planning.  Throughout each budget season, we work cooperatively with the Boards of Selectman and Finance in both Essex and Manchester meeting regularly to provide on-going progress reports on our planning process and multi-year outlook.   It is important to keep in mind that the ultimate goal of our budget is to support our school and district goals.

Budget Goals for FY19
  • Position MERSD for continual improvement of educational program and student achievement
  • Manage Enrollment
    • Strive to meet School Committee class size guidelines
    • Serve increasingly diverse student educational needs
  • Exercise fiscal responsibility
    • Seek internal efficiencies to offset growth needs when possible
  • Meet local, state and federal responsibilities while controlling growth

Please visit our Finance & Operations page for information about our budget process, a complete budget season calendar, and links to our strategic plan which outlines the work going on in the district.