Windham Southeast School District
Finance Committee Meeting – Tuesday 1/24/23
5:00pm @ Cusick Conference Room @ WRCC
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 853 5605 9605
Members: Shaun Murphy – Chairperson, Michelle Luetjen Green, Anne Beekman
Board Recorder: Wendy Levy
1. Approval of Minutes
2. Year to Date Financial Statements
3. Budget Planning Fiscal Year 2024
4. Recommendation to Board to Approve Warrants and Payrolls
Meeting is scheduled to adjourn at 5:50pm
Cc.SM, BN 1/19/23
board at a future meeting.
WINDHAM SOUTHEAST SCHOOL DISTRICT (WSESD) FINANCE COMMITTEE
TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2023
REGULAR MEETING – 5:00PM
HYBRID MEETING: WRCC CUSICK CONFERENCE ROOM & ZOOM
WSESD Finance Committee Members Present: Chairperson Shaun Murphy (SM), Anne Beekman (AB), Michelle Luetjen Green (MG)
WSESD Finance Committee Members Absent: none
WSESU/SD Staff Present: Frank Rucker, Mark Speno, Wendy M. Levy, Paul Smith, Nancy Wiese
Others present: Ruby McAdoo, Kristina Naylor, Jaci Reynolds, Maggie Foley
Please note: Because of Zoom’s attendance format, this attendance record may be incomplete.
CALL TO ORDER:
Chair SM called the meeting to order at 5pm.
I. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
MOTION BY AB TO APPROVE THE DECEMBER 20, 2022 MINUTES AS PRESENTED. MG SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
II. BUDGET PLANNING FISCAL YEAR 2024
WSESD CFO Frank Rucker shared and reviewed a series of documents, “Updated Capital Needs Plan,” and “Windham Southeast School District Budget Document: Homestead School Tax Rate, State Funding Formula.” Highlights included:
• Because the state finally submitted to the District the final pieces of information needed, Mr. Rucker was able to update the tax rate portions of the budget document. He explained that to calculate the tax rate, he needs the yield, and the equalized pupil numbers, which have finally arrived.
• The yield is $15,479.
• The income dollar equivalent yield is $17,600.
• Both of those figures increased because property values increased.
• This means a lower tax rate, and Mr. Rucker explained why.
• The total FY24 proposed budget is $62.9 million, which is up 3.2-percent.
• Revenues are expected to be $11,181,775, and Mr. Rucker mentioned some revenue sources.
• The budget minus revenues equals the education spending figure, which is $51.7 million.
• The equalized pupils figure — 2,206.9 — is very close to last year’s figure.
• The education spending per pupil figure is $23,455.
• To get the tax rate, one divides the education spending per pupil by the yield. For FY24, the tax rate is $1.515. This is down 6.3-percent from last year.
• An explanation and review of income sensitivity cap versus the homestead school property tax rate. Lower-income taxpayers pay a lower tax if they are subject to the income sensitivity provision of the school funding law.
• An explanation of the CLA and individual towns’ homestead school tax rate, and how the figures are calculated by the state.
• Brattleboro’s tax rate is almost unchanged. Dummerston’s is up 2.4-percent. Guilford’s is up 8.1- percent. Putney’s is up 6.1-percent.
• At the state level there is a debate about different District towns paying different rates for the same school system. Is this the most equitable way to fund education?
• 80-percent of District taxpayers qualify for an income sensitivity adjustment.
• Kristina Naylor of Dummerston mentioned townwide property reappraisals and how that affects the tax rate. A discussion ensued.
• Maggie Foley of Guilford mentioned the effect of the real-estate market on the tax rate. A discussion ensued.
Mr. Rucker shared and reviewed a document, “Fiscal Year 2024 Windham Southeast School District Capital Plan Overview.” Highlights included:
• A review of the summary page.
• Acknowledgement that this spending plan is similar to other years’.
• An explanation of how the summary page is organized.
• HVAC upgrades are a focus of this plan.
• A review, by building, of the focus of the capital plan. Most of it is on roofing, HVAC, and other building infrastructure.
• Some funding sources for the $3.6 million proposed capital plan: appropriation (which mostly comes from taxes), and grants. An acknowledgement that the District is mostly seeing the end of ESSER funding in this plan.
• A review of the fund balance.
Ms. Naylor asked about the plans for Tenny Field. Mr. Rucker reviewed the capital plan by site section, and focused on page 5 (BAMS/WRCC/BUHS) to answer the question. Mr. Rucker gave a brief history of Tenny Field’s capital needs, including the debate between replacing the playing field with grass turf or artificial turf.
Ruby McAdoo of Putney asked about some small buildings mentioned in the capital plan. Mr. Rucker reviewed them and their use.
MOTION BY AB TO ADJOURN. MG SECONDED. MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
DOCUMENTS SHARED AT THIS MEETING:
• “Updated Capital Needs Plan.”
• “Windham Southeast School District Budget Document: Homestead School Tax Rate, State
• “Fiscal Year 2024 Windham Southeast School District Capital Plan Overview.”
Respectfully submitted by Wendy M. Levy from minutes taken by Wendy M. Levy.
This represents my understanding of the above dated meeting. If you have any changes, please submit
them at the next Finance Committee meeting.