FROM THE SCHOOL BOARD
Elmore-Morristown Unified Union
2019-2020 Proposed School Budget
While we pursue legal and legislative solutions regarding the State Board of Education’s forced merger ruling, we have an agreement that allows us to develop budgets for Elmore-Morristown and Stowe respectively and prepare for operations under our current structure. In the event our appeal is successful or there is a delay in the implementation of Act 46, these proposed budgets are the foundations for our operations in support of our students for the coming year. Early voting on board members and budgets for EMUU and Stowe has started, or you may vote on Town Meeting Day, March 5, 2019. Your vote is important!
What is the overall proposed school budget for next year?
The total proposed Elmore-Morristown Unified Union (EMUU) school district budget is $14,553,950.
How does this compare to the current school budget?
This is $460,175 more than the current budget and represents a 3.3% increase.
The proposed budget reflects an increase in spending per pupil of $823, to $15,290. This is an increase of 5.7% on a per pupil basis. Elmore-Morristown’s Education Spending per Equalized Pupil for FY20 is below the statewide average for FY18 of $15,368.
Does the proposed budget affect any program offerings?
The proposed FY20 EMUU budget maintains current levels of programming and reduces1.0 FTE teaching positions at both Morristown Elementary School and Peoples Academy Middle Level. These staffing reductions can be accommodated due to decreases in enrollment.
How will the proposed school budget affect my property taxes?
The tax rate impacts of the proposed FY20 budget translate to an estimated increase in the Local Homestead Tax Rate of 4.6 cents for Morristown and 6.1 cents for Elmore and no change in local income sensitivity rates.
These rates should be lower when the Agency of Education finalizes Equalized Pupil counts.
Non-Homestead Tax Rates are not directly affected by local budget decisions, rather are set based on statewide spending, and are estimated to increase by 3.2 cents in Morristown and 4.8 cents in Elmore.
Elmore’s Homestead and Non-Homestead Tax Rates were impacted again this year by rising property values in Elmore. The Common Level of Appraisal (CLA) for Elmore decreased 2.86% (-2.86%), which is a reflection of increasing property values. Morristown also saw rising property values, evident in a decrease in the CLA of 2.07% (-2.07%).
What is the status of the Reserve Fund?
As of June 30, 2018, there was a General Fund balance of $2,039,184. Of this amount, $700,000 was committed as revenue to the FY19 budget and $500,000 was transferred to the Capital Fund in FY19. In FY20, the board recommends applying $700,000 as revenue to offset the proposed FY20 budget expenditures. This leaves $139,184 of unassigned fund balance for future expenses with approval of the electorate.
What is the status of the Capital Fund?
The Capital Projects Fund balance as of July 1, 2018, was $1,701,657. Spending as of December 31, 2018, totals approximately $868,000, bringing the fund balance to approximately $833,000. Projects completed over the past summer included road, bus loop and parking improvements, window and exterior sheathing replacement at PAML, and MES playground improvements.
To assist with additional future facility needs, the budget provides for $110,000 in capital funds, which is offset by the retirement of debt for bond repayment.
Proposed projects for FY20 include replacement of the fire alarm system at PA/PAML, bathroom and playground improvements at PAML, and window replacement at the Graded Building.
When and where is the vote on EMUU proposed school budget?
The vote on the school budget is by Australian ballot at the Morristown and Elmore Municipal Offices on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Voters may also vote early at the Town Clerk’s Office in Elmore or Morristown.
The informational meeting about the budget and the Annual Meeting are Thursday, February 28, 2019, at 6:00pm in the PA Auditorium. Your attendance and active participation in the meeting on February 28 is strongly encouraged!