Cape School Board continues budget talks, superintendent search

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CAPE ELIZABETH — The School Board continued March 8 to work through the 2012 fiscal budget and received an update on the superintendent search process.

Board Chairwoman Mary Townsend said 15 candidates from nine states have applied to fill the superintendent position, currently held by interim Superintendent Ken Murphy. 

The Credentials Review Committee, made up of teachers, members of the district leadership team, residents and school board members, met earlier this month to review the applicant’s credentials.

Townsend said the School Board is expected to interview several candidates within the next 10 days and will make an announcement in April.

Murphy did not apply for the position.

Budget workshop

At a workshop held after the business meeting, the school board worked on the $21 million proposed school budget, that reflects a 2.2 percent increase over this year.

Barring salaries and benefits, the school budgets are less than or the same as the current year, Murphy said.

High school Principal Jeff Shedd said there are no program changes for the 2012 fiscal year. There are proposals to replace textbooks, a computer for digital photography, a kiln for ceramics and science equipment, but the increases for the equipment and texts are offset in other areas, he said. 

The middle school budget is $34,000 less than this year, and according to principal Steve Connolly includes no additional programing.

The Pond Cove Elementary School budget is $3,000 less than the current year. The budget includes the reduction of one teacher due to enrollment projections and a half-time reading teacher that was funded through federal stimulus money. 

Like they did with the schools, the board on Monday reviewed the proposed technology, debt service, health services, volunteer services and office of the superintendent accounts barring salaries and benefits.

The technology department budget continues to support staffing and support for technology without an increase in spending, and the debt service budget is $34,000 less than the current year, Murphy said. 

The budget for the superintendent’s office is nearly $83,000 and includes photocopying, telephone costs, advertising, printing and dues for conferences. According to Murphy, the budget is not extravagant and will provide the new superintendent with what is needed.

While the health services budget is not expected to change from this year, Townsend made a request for a budget narrative so the board could review how health services are utilized within the district. 

The board is expected to discuss “big ticket items,” and underfunded extracurricular activities during their upcoming meetings. The next meeting is March 15 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Community Services Building.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or