FY25 Budget Board Adopted

FY25 Budget Board Adopted
Posted on 05/14/2024

The proposed PK-12 total budget of $ 18,747,218.34 represents a 4.77% increase over the prior year's budget. The primary increases in this budget are related to salary increases and costs associated with health insurance. Additionally, the budget is recognizing the significant inflationary increases in all areas of our operation. To arrive at this budget level the Board did need to make some difficult decisions to eliminate positions and make expenditure reductions in a manner to have a balance between maintaining high levels of educational services while containing costs to our communities.

The overall increase to the budget is $ 853,039.14. The vast majority of the overall increase is represented in two categories: employee wages and health insurance benefits. These two categories represent 99.6% of the total budget increase.

The year over year increase to the wages are primarily associated with negotiated collective bargaining agreements. In this category there is a $ 552,857 increase over FY 2024 with the vast majority of increase associated with the collective bargaining agreements. The increase in salary and wages represents 64.81% of the overall increase to the budget. While this is a significant increase, RSU 25 still lags behind as compared to both regional and statewide wages.

After seeing minimal increases in our health insurance costs over the last three years, we experienced an 11.14% increase for the FY2025 coverage year. That increase has an impact of $ 296,802 increase to the budget, which represents 34.79% of the overall increase.

To bring the budget in at the 4.77% increase the School Board did need to make some difficult decisions to eliminate positions and make expenditure reductions in a manner to have a balance between maintaining high levels of educational services while containing costs to our communities. The Board acted on the recommendations of the superintendent and reduced staffing by eliminating or reducing the following positions:

● 1 FTE elementary teacher
● 1 FTE elementary counselor
● 1 FTE high school special education teacher
● 1 FTE elementary computer science teacher and technology integrator
● .5 FTE high school Foreign language teacher
● .2 FTE district special education counselor
● .3 FTE literacy specialist (moved into educational service center as contracted service)

These adjustments along with restructuring roles and responsibilities and expanding on partnerships with outside agencies allowed the Board to reduce the initial draft of the FY 2025 budget, which was an 8.80% increase over the FY 2024 budget, by more than $695,500.

The local impact of the 4.77% increase to the FY 2025 budget over the FY 2024 budget will see increases in all four communities.

● Bucksport will see a $ 387,753 increase or 8.03% over the FY 2024 budget
● Orland will see a $ 179,686 increase or 7.08% over the FY 2024 budget
● Prospect will see a $ 50,543 increase or 7.71% over the FY 2024 budget
● Verona Island will see a $ 25,555 increase or 4.35% over the FY 2024 budget

Even with these increases, RSU 25 continues to operate our school system below the State of Maine average per
pupil cost while providing a full range of educational services. Based on the latest data available from the Maine
Department of Education for the fiscal year 2023, RSU 25 resident per pupil operating cost (not including Federal
Grants) remains below the State average by $2,438 per student.

FY 23 Resident Per Pupil Expenditure Rate PK-12 State Average = $ 17,695
FY 23 Resident Per Pupil Expenditure Rate PK-12 RSU 25 = $ 15,257

Further information and Cost Center breakdown are available below.  You can also join us Live or online on May 22nd at 7:00 p.m..  The Live event is at the Bucksport Performing Arts Center, 100 Miles Lane, Bucksport.  Online link is here:  Join the Live Stream!