November 7, 2019
Dear Duxbury School Committee and Duxbury Residents,
I am pleased to present my proposed FY’21 School Department Budget. This document contains a broad overview as well as a detailed explanation of the District’s budget requests. It is organized into three sections - Please click on the links below to access the documents.
- PowerPoint Presentation: This serves as an Executive Summary and the “story” of our budget. I chose to use a combination of graphics and text to format this story in order to make it as transparent and accessible as possible for all readers. It is intended to be read in the order in which it is presented.
- Financial Exhibits: There are six financial exhibits for your review. Each one summarizes the budget in a slightly different way and in varying degrees of depth and detail.
- Line Item Detail: There are almost 400 line items in the School Department Budget, organized into 46 Cost Centers. This section of the budget is the most detailed and technical. It is contained herein to provide a maximum level of transparency.
The development of any school department budget is challenging, since there are always finite available resources yet seemingly infinite needs. This year was slightly more challenging because all Town departments were tasked with developing budgets with year-over-year increases of no more than 2.25%. To put that task into context, please consider that such an increase is approximately 0.7% lower than the most recent five-year average. The School Department acknowledges the Town’s financial limitations, however. Thus, District leaders leveraged their collective expertise and creativity and went to work to develop a budget that not only meets the guideline but also keeps the district moving forward.
Given that Town officials and boards are currently discussing the possibility of a Proposition 2 ½ Override, we have also been tasked with developing a second series of budget requests. These requests, which total $785,000, are outlined on slides 16-18 of this presentation. Please note that these items are not included in the budget exhibits and line item detail. I want to be clear that even for this exercise we took a fiscally-conservative and cost-conscious approach. The additional budget requests are not “wish list” items. On the contrary, they are common positions and resources found in quality school districts throughout the Commonwealth, ones that we think are necessary in order to create a competitive learning environment for Duxbury students.
As you will see on the following pages, we made some very difficult decisions during this budget process. That said, I am confident that even with a budget increase of only 2.29% we can still work to make the Duxbury Public Schools stronger. This is due in part to the creativity and hard work of our cost center leaders. It is also due to sheer good luck in some key areas, including decreases in Special Education tuition.
I do remain concerned about the future and our ability to maintain the quality of our programs and services when annual budget increases are at below-standard levels. I look forward to partnering with the School Committee and other Town officials to best position the Town of Duxbury and the Duxbury Public Schools for continued success. Thank you.