July 17, 2019

Save Our Schools FAQ Sheet

Posted

What’s going on?
School Committee put forward a 1.32% increase over last year’s budget. However, at the last town meeting, Rehoboth voted to approve FinCom’s assessment, leaving a $558Kshortfall. In response, the School Committee has opted to send back the original 1.32%budget. On July 16th, Rehoboth will have a Special Town Meeting to vote again.

What about sports and activities?
On July 1st, a 1/12 budget goes into effect. To meet this number, School Committee suspended all extracurricular, in addition to four faculty positions, so as to reduce the number of district-wide layoffs.

I heard the district requested a ten percent increase. Why is this number different?
The Finance Committee lumped in the separately voted and financed debt exclusions for capital expenditures on the high school roof and Palmer River and Beckwith facilities upgrades into the school budget on the warrant, which makes it appear as though the schools are asking for a 10+ percent budget increase.

What is the difference between an operating expense and a capital expense?
Capital expenses are for larger items paid over a period of time, such as the high school roof. They are typically incurred through a town-wide ballot vote for a debt exclusion, which temporarily raises taxes to cover the capital expense and is removed once the item is paid for. Operating expenses are those used to cover the everyday operating costs of the district.

Why doesn’t last year’s override cover these increases?
The $2.1M from the override was earmarked for the schools in the FY19budget. It was not earmarked for FY20.

What happens if the 1.32% increase fails at the Special Town Meeting?
If the budget fails, there will be a tent meeting, in which voters from both Dighton and Rehoboth meet to decide on a budget.

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