The Norwich School Board heard the budget presentation for Marion Cross School for fiscal year 2019-2020 on Thursday, January 10. Unlike the meeting last year that drew the attention of residents, parents and teachers, this presentation was quiet. No member of the public offered any comment. The homestead property tax rate is expected to decline from last year but the income sensitivity rate will increase.
The next meeting on the budget for MCS is Thursday, January 17. The Board could vote that evening.
Overall the proposed Marion Cross School budget is $5,817,145, an increase of less than 1% or $40,911 from last year. Enrollment in K-6 is projected to decline to 270 from 278. As a result, there will be one less classroom teacher. The budget is expecting an 11.76% increase on medical insurance rates.
Staffing in the principal’s office will increase by adding a “Coordinator of Student Services”. The position will oversee various state and federal programs for students with additional needs. “The coordinator will ease the scope of the work loads of both the principal and the school counselor so each can spend more time enhancing teachers' effectiveness and students' learning,” according to the Budget Book
Part of Slide 8 from budget presentation. https://www.boarddocs.com/nh/sau70/Board.nsf/files/B8BVKL7C4558/$file/NOR%20January%2010%20Proposed%20Budget%20Presentation.pdf
Negotiations with the unions representing the teachers and the support staff at MCS are ongoing. Replacement of the septic system is not part of this budget cycle.
For grades 7 -12, Norwich students attend Dresden School District schools. Its budget will increase this year. However, with Norwich sending fewer students, its share of the Dresden assessment will be about $150,000 less.
The tax rate calculation is muddled a bit because of two warrants on the Dresden School District ballot relating to the union contracts with teachers and with staff. If voters approve those warrants, then the Dresden assessment for Norwich will increase by $38,197, bringing the total school budget cost for Norwich to $12,368,507.
At that amount the homestead property tax rate is expected to drop by 3.5 cents to $1.8130. The income sensitivity rated will increase 10%, from 3.13% to 3.45%. The nonresidential property tax rate is uniform across Vermont. With adjustment for the Norwich CLA of 98.09%, it is projected at $1.6108.
Slide 12 from Norwich budget presentation
The tax rates assume no changes in law or funding by Montpelier.