GM School District budget OK’d by 70 votes CAES assistant principal funded in $13 million spending plan

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2019 Telegraph Publishing, LLC

Officials from Andover and Chester count the ballots in the school district budget vote on Tuesday evening. Photo by Shawn Cunningham

The Green Mountain Unified School District budget was approved by the voters of Andover, Baltimore, Cavendish and Chester in Australian balloting on Tuesday. The count was 423 to 353 with a margin of victory of 70 votes or 9 percent. The budget gives Chester-Andover Elementary an assistant principal for the first time in more than a decade when the school had 267 pupils. It currently has about 240.

The $12,937,250 budget, a 3.2 percent increase over last year’s budget, will fund the operation of two elementary schools — Chester-Andover and Cavendish Town — and Green Mountain Union High.

The budget had been a struggle within the board partly because of the additional administration position when many expected the Act 46 to produce more educational opportunities for students.

CAES Principal Katherine Fogg begins her second of three presentation on the need for an assistant principal.

From the first finance committee meeting in November, when member Joe Fromberger asked why the assistant principal was back in the budget when it was rejected by the board in the previous budget. Over the next several meetings, CAES Principal Katherine Fogg made her case for the new administrator saying that she could be more effective as a leader if there was someone else to handle the behavior problems that take up “60 percent to 75 percent” of her day.

But nothing was more problematic than the 6.07 percent increase that was proposed by the administration. After wrestling with that for a meeting or two, the finance committee asked the district schools and the central office to return with a budget increase of 3.5 percent or less.

The administration made deep cuts and returned with a budget that still included the $74,000 assistant principal and after a couple of tense exchanges in which GMUSD board chair Marilyn Mahusky was seen by several board members to threaten to resign, the board voted to accept the added administrator.

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  1. R. Rounds says:

    It’s my understanding that taxes overall increase due to increased property values.

  2. Arlene Mutschler says:

    IF she had time to put together a lovely presentation, why doesn’t she have time to do all her duties?

  3. Arlene Mutschler says:

    Such a small margin? I think the board and the people who are in charge should really think about this. I think it means that 70 people that were probably opposed didn’t show up. Perhaps it was the people on fixed/low incomes and no children had to go to work and couldn’t vote.

  4. Arlene Mutschler says:

    Really? 74k for an assistant principal? I realize that is probably the whole package. So if the current principal can’t handle her duties, perhaps getting a principle that can is the answer. If discipline is such a problem, perhaps looking at the teachers or the children or the policies is more a solution. In the 8 years I’ve been here, the taxes have DOUBLED…Doubled! and the enrollment is way down. Something is very very wrong