Budget Update # 2

Budget Update #2

January 21, 2020


“Cape Elizabeth School Department: Open Minds and Open Doors”


Cape Elizabeth School Department School Board Budget Goals FY21


  1. Maintain and improve the high quality of education for every student.
  2. Careful examination of line items and consideration of the success and effectiveness of the expenditures in order to provide a fiscally responsible budget.
  3. Support the current strategic plan goals.
  4. Clear and continual communication throughout the budget process.  


Cape Elizabeth School Department Strategic Plan Goals


  1. Health and Well-Being: Our schools will provide a supportive learning environment in which physical, social, and emotional well-being are valued and promoted.
  2. Global Competency: Our students will be personally responsible, aware, empathetic, and engaged local and global citizens.
  3. Multiple Pathways and Definitions of Success: Our schools will value, promote, and celebrate multiple pathways and definitions of success.  
  4. Safe, Sustainable, and Effective Facilities: Our schools will be safe and effective facilities. They will be updated and maintained to meet the needs of students and staff in accordance with long-term financial planning.
  5.  Environmental Responsibility: The school department will prioritize environmental responsibility, including stewardship and sustainability. 


Cape Elizabeth School Department administrators met on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 to present their Original Request Budgets to the School Board.  Administrators were asked to identify their needs and develop budgets that would meet those needs.  Each administrator met, prior to their presentations, with the district Finance Manager, Marcy Weeks, and I to review staffing, supply, and equipment needs in order to move the district toward meeting the identified goals.


 At the beginning of the January 21st School Board Budget Workshop Elizabeth Scifres, Finance Chair, reviewed the School Board budget goals as well as the district strategic plan goals. In addition, she asked School Board members to listen carefully to the presentation, to record any questions they might have, and to submit those questions to her by February 22, 2020.  Administrators will answer those questions at the February 25th School Board Budget Workshop.


There are several unknown factors at this time that impact our budget. Included in the Original Request Budget is a 10% increase for health benefits.  We are hoping that our increase will be considerably less, however, we will not be notified of our percentage of increase until early April.  We also have not been notified about our state subsidy. Our state subsidy is determined by a funding formula and is dependent on enrollment and valuation.  We expect to receive our ED279 early in February.  In addition, we are currently involved in teacher negotiations.  The results of these negotiations will have a significant impact on the FY21 budget as approximately 83% of the budget supports salaries and benefits of district employees.  


Jason Manjourides, Principal of Pond Cove Elementary School began his presentation with a review of new positions, celebrating the additional time provided to the school Health and Wellness position and the four lunch aides (we have only filled two of the four positions as a result of a lack of applicants) that were provided for in the FY20 budget. These positions have allowed teachers additional planning time, and the lunchroom aids offer a consistency to lunch- room expectations.  Principal Manjourides is requesting a full-time substitute position, an additional ed tech position to meet the medical needs of a student, an additional classroom teacher to meet enrollment needs, and an additional full-time guidance counselor to meet the needs of the students in Pond Cove.


Troy Eastman, Principal of Cape Elizabeth Middle School (CEMS) spoke about the success of the newly implemented eighth grade experiential program.  Students are making valuable connections in the community and beyond, and the program has had a positive impact on attendance. In response to a small fifth grade class, there will be a reduction of one teacher at CEMS next year.  Supply lines and equipment lines will increase next year in an attempt to restore these lines to the FY18 funding level.  The professional service line is also increasing as we continue to provide the previously funded Spirit Series to our students, and as we provide additional programs to address mental health and guidance initiatives.


The FY20 Cape Elizabeth High School Budget (CEHS) was developed for an expected decline of six students based on the eighth-grade enrollment. In anticipation of lower numbers, a .5 math position and a part time Latin position were eliminated.  However, during the summer of 2019 several new families moved into Cape Elizabeth resulting in increased enrollment. The FY20 budget decreased teaching positions, and class sizes at the high school grew resulting in larger class sizes in some academic areas.   Currently the student: teacher ratio is 13.6 students to one teacher. The incoming eighth grade class for next year is a large class and Principal Shedd highlighted the need to add teaching positions for the 2020-2021 school year. According to projections, student enrollment will be an additional 24 students for the 2020-2021 school year.  Principal Shedd is requesting the following positions to be included in the FY21 budget in order to meet the needs of increasing enrollment: 1 full time English teacher, .6 FTE math teacher to replace the math teacher that was eliminated from the FY20 budget, .75 FTE Science teacher to address the expanding population,  .4 FTE teacher leader position to coordinate innovative programming and student support, 1 full time library aid to assist in running the library, .4 FTE Introductory French teacher in order to provide French 1, and .3 FTE teacher to expand offered electives in either Social Studies, Art, or Computer Programming, depending on student course selections. Principal Shedd is also requesting $27,532 for the purchase of 12 laptops that will be needed to meet student demands to enroll in computer programming classes.  In addition, several new or increased stipend positions are included in Mr. Shedd’s request such as eSports coach, Coding Club advisor, Quiz Bowl coach, TEDx Coordinator increase, Tech Theater increase, and advisor to the Beekeeping Club. 


Del Peavey, Director of Special Services spoke about transferring some positions and supplies from our local entitlement grant and funding out of district placements, professional development, three ed techs, technology supplies, special education software, and the majority of additional supplies with that grant money.  He has requested an additional ed tech position in order to meet the needs of incoming kindergarten students from Child Development Services.  


Noel Harroff, Director of Technology presented a 1% budget increase, due largely to increases in salaries and benefits.  Included in his request is a projector and audio system for the high school band room and a robot that will allow students who are unable to attend school for long periods to access classroom learning.  


Transportation and Facilities Director, Perry Schwarz, oversees 47 different structures with Cape Elizabeth and manages a fleet of 14 school buses, 3 passenger vans, and 4 maintenance vehicles.  His Original Request Budget represents an increase of 13%, largely due to the need for increased staff.  His budget includes positions such as a facilities night maintenance person to support the increased use of buildings after hours, a facilities person for town buildings, a facilities person for the schools, a facilities project manager that would help with the town bidding requirements and oversee projects.  This person would be a shared expense between the town and the schools.  In addition, Mr. Schwarz is requesting a new maintenance vehicle as the one in present use will not pass inspection this year according to the Cape town garage mechanics.  Included in Director Schwarz’s budget are repairs to our three schools and several security updates.  Ongoing projects such as painting rotation at Pond Cove, boiler room repairs at CEMS, and continued window replacement, wall repairs, and carpet replacement at CEHS are included in the Original Request Budget.   Bleacher reinforcement at CEMS for safety code compliance and a new glass door installation in the CEHS library are also included.


Cathy Stankard, Director of Teaching and Learning for Cape Elizabeth Schools, presented the Improvement of Instruction, English Learners, Gifted and Talented and Volunteer Services budgets.  Budget requests for these areas are similar to the previous year with slight increases due to expected increases in salaries and benefits.  In addition, the EL position has been increased from .8 FTE to full time in order to meet the needs of incoming students. New books for EL instruction also represent a slight increase in the EL budget. 


Peter Esposito, Director of Nutrition Services began his presentation with a description of some of the many exciting things that are going on in his department.  Last year administrators Jeff Shedd and Nathan Carpenter assisted Director Esposito in offering a pasta bar experience during a student lunch.  On January 29, 2020 Police Chief Fenton, School Resource Officer David Galvon, and other police officers will prepare a Mexican Fiesta for high school students.  The Food Service budget reflects only a small increase due to increased salaries and benefits for staff. Funds to support this budget come from local taxes and revenues from meals.  Cape Elizabeth School Department shares Director Esposito with Scarborough School Department who fund .7 of his salary. 


Athletic Director, Jeff Thoreck thanked the School Board for supporting his request for a new gator in the FY20 School Budget.  The gator was purchased just in time as the old gator stopped working two days before the new gator arrived.  Director Thoreck presented a budget that includes an additional middle school indoor track coach, due to increased student participation in indoor track, and an athletic groundskeeper.  He described the many maintenance tasks that he performs in addition to doing all of the scheduling, ordering of equipment, attending games, and managing the many coaches.  He shared pictures of the weed-wacking, painting, moving porta-potties and earth, putting up signs, and dealing with storm damage that have become part of his responsibilities because there is no one else to do it. Director Thoreck’s Original Request Budget represents a 7% increase, due to these additional positions and increases in salaries and benefits.


I presented the budgets for the Office of Superintendent that includes staffing, supplies, and professional development, including course reimbursements, and the School Board which includes legal liability insurance and professional development.  The budgets combined represent a 5% increase which reflects reimbursements for staff who are pursuing degrees and increased salaries and benefits. I requested the return of a .5 FTE nurse’s assistant position, a position that was eliminated in the FY20 budget.  The job description for this position has been revised and now requires an LPN who has an in-depth understanding of medical terms in order to help with posting data, and the skills to in-take students as they arrive at the nurse’s office in need of help.  This position is split between the budgets of the three schools and is not reflected in the Office of Superintendent or School Board budget. 


Last year the Original Request Budget FY20 represented a 7.8% increase over the previous year.  With much discussion, deliberation, and news of a smaller than anticipated increase in health benefits, the final budget represented a 5.9% increase over the previous year.  This year the Original Request Budget is approximately 8% over the FY20 budget.  We will continue to work to provide a fiscally responsible budget to the citizens of Cape Elizabeth.  The next School Board budget meeting will be held on February 25, 2020 in the Library at Cape Elizabeth High School at 6:30 PM. Administrators will present answers to the questions presented to them by School Board Members.  Please make every effort to attend.