Marlboro presents $61.4 million budget for 2022-23

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 4/13/22

For the past few months Marlboro has been fine tuning next year’s school budget. Last week the administration proposed a $61,498,000 budget for 2022-23 for the school board’s …

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Marlboro presents $61.4 million budget for 2022-23


For the past few months Marlboro has been fine tuning next year’s school budget. Last week the administration proposed a $61,498,000 budget for 2022-23 for the school board’s consideration. The board has to adopt a budget at their April 21st meeting.

Superintendent Michael Brooks noted that next year’s operating budget is actually $59,998,000, however, a one time transfer of $1.5 million from debt service to capital that will go toward the 20/20 vision project, is what pushes the total up to the $61.4 million mark, the amount taxpayers will see on the ballot. He stressed that the district already has the $1.5 million in the bank and is not taxing to get it and next year it drops off.

The Governor’s expected total aid package to Marlboro for next year is $21,765,744, which is a net increase of $4,537,856 [26.34%]. Of this total, $3,250,576 [33.85%] is Foundation Aid only.

Brooks said in the 2022-23 budget there is a 5.68% reduction in the tax levy.

“The tax levy is the amount that we levy on the taxpayers,” he said. “We’re going to be putting out a tax levy for 2022-23 that will at least be $2 million and maybe closer to $2.5 million less than the 2021-22 tax bills. It’s hard to convert that right now into what that means for the tax rate, which is what goes on to the tax bill, because we don’t know the assessments or the equalization rates until we get into July and August. But we are going to be collecting $2 million to $2.5 million less from the Marlborough taxpayers as a whole. That equates to a percentage, somewhere between 5.68% to 7% less in 2022-23 than it was in 2021-22.”

Brooks pointed out that the amount the school district has to tax is dependent upon how much aid the district receives.

“We’ve squirreled enough money away, we’ve tightened our britches and we’re going to be getting a nice aid package that we’ll be able to translate as much of that back to reduce the levy,” he said.

Brooks said there are pressing needs for social workers, school psychologists, guidance counselors and nurses.

“We’re seeing a significant number of kids, family members and staff, who are struggling with how they did or didn’t get through the pandemic and then returning back to what is life like, and there are still some concerns about what is the corona virus and is it still a threat,” he said. “People are coming off of a tense period of time that was very, very, very challenging. Is there certainty in life now and that’s I think a big basis of a lot of psychological elements. There are so many facets to it, there’s not one piece of causality, there’s not one outcome...We’re faced with the triage element that we’ve got to help these kids out so they can get back to good so they can learn. If we can’t help to remove that barrier, they’re going to have challenges with learning.”

One social worker for the high school, at $105,000, is proposed in the regular budget and a school psychologist, also at $105,000, will be funded with a one year federal grant and is not paid for by the taxpayers.

Brooks said the district’s finances have been stabilized at least for the next five years, with more than $8 million in the fund balance and reserves, an achievement he is proud to have reached.

“That’s the real story of the financial picture. So that is why we can talk about [adding] positions, that we can talk about reducing the levy because we’re in a very healthy place financially,” he said.

Brooks said with the recent passing of the state budget the district will have ready solid budget numbers and what the levy will be at their April 21st meeting.