SCHOOL BOARD UPDATE

From the Issue: 
December 2011
The Monadnock Regional School District’s final budget paperwork was sent in the state late this year and for good reason.  The Board’s auditors wanted to double check all our calculations and confirm the amount of our surplus as accurate.  It turns out that the final amount is a little over $920,000.  This amount is a surplus from the 2010 – 2011 school year and must be returned to the taxpayers by statute. I think it is worth noting that much of this surplus is due to the outstanding efforts of our Business Manager in rectifying prior billing errors between districts in the former SAU 38 where our money was given to Winchester and Hinsdale as well as outstanding efforts on the part of our Special Ed Department to make sure our billings are correct and that we obtain the reimbursements to which we are legally entitled.

The Sullivan and Gilsum withdrawal committees have concluded their studies and it is my understanding they returned different recommendations to their respective towns. Gilsum is sending or has sent a report to their select board recommending that they stay in the District.  Sullivan is sending a report to their select board recommending that they withdraw from the district.  If the Sullivan select board chooses to put this on the March ballot I personally will vote  in favor of it for two reasons: no one should be forced to use our schools who doesn’t want to and Sullivan leaving the district will lower the tax burden for the rest of the towns as it costs more to educate the Sullivan students than they pay into the district according to our Business Manager Jane Fortson.

In an interesting twist of the situation it would be possible for the majority of voters in Sullivan to oppose this proposal and the rest of the district to vote in favor of it in which case they would be done.

If this proposal does make it to the March ballot and does pass then it would be my expectation that we would change the operation of the Northern Schools to be just the Gilsum School which would then have four classes in operation: Kindergarten, First & Second Combo; Third & Fourth Combo and a Fifth & Sixth Combo.

The board enacted a policy at the beginning of this school year to require that all returning and new students provide written evidence that they are actual residents of our district and entitled to use our school system.  We currently have approximately 80% compliance with this policy district wide.  The Superintendant’s Office will be sending out a letter to all parents of students who have not provided documentation within the next few weeks asking that satisfactory evidence be provided or that the parents/guardians make arrangements to enroll their students in the correct school district immediately.  It will be interesting to see how many students are actually not our district’s responsibility to educate that are enrolled in our schools.  If nothing else comes of this we will know that all the students in our schools are in fact our students.