The Mashpee Public Schools announced a proposed Fiscal Year 2022 budget of $23,528,435, which is an increase of 3.29 percent from its FY21 budget. The proposed figure is based on the assumption that the school district will be operating without COVID-19 expenditures, school officials said during a remote public hearing on the budget at the Mashpee School Committee meeting on Wednesday, January 6.

“Our total budget does not include any COVID-related expenses,” Superintendent Patricia M. DeBoer said. “We will need additional funds for PPE [personal protective equipment] and for personnel. Currently this year, if we were to continue into next year, we would have to have the additional six teachers, one paraprofessional and a long-term nurse substitute that are in place this year. The personnel piece of that is $368,000 that would need to be enhanced by any additional PPE that we would need to continue to purchase for FY22, and the town is aware of this, so at least we have the number ready when we need to have that.”

The proposed salary budget for FY22 is $18,930,405, an increase of $520,698 or 2.83 percent from FY21.

The proposed operating budget for FY22 is $4,598,030, an increase of $229,424 or 5.25 percent from FY21.

The largest increase in the operating budget is a $192,935 allocation for technology.

Ms. DeBoer said the district has asked the town to approve $131,000 of technology capital requests, and if the request is approved, it would lower the overall budget to $23,397,435, a 2.72 percent increase from last year’s appropriation.

“I’m pretty sure the capital improvement program is going to be approved by the Town of Mashpee,” Ms. DeBoer said.

The capital request is made up of $45,000 for Chromebook leases, $56,000 for teacher PCs and $30,000 for wireless upgrades.

The transportation department’s operating budget is also proposed to increase.

“There are bus driver wage increases and the replacement of buses. We contract with the Cape Cod Collaborative for our buses,” Ms. DeBoer said.

Outside the $23 million proposed budget for the town, the school district expects $744,000 to come from outside grants and $4,640,166 to come from state aid, the superintendent said.

The total budget for FY22 was originally $24,067,300, but after an offset of $538,865 from the state’s School Choice program, the appropriate budget was decreased.

For the 2020-21 school year, 123 students from other districts chose to attend Mashpee schools, and 95 Mashpee students chose to attend schools in other districts.

Ms. DeBoer said the budget could not be discussed without some recognition of the district’s beloved former finance director, Paul Funk, who died from illnesses on October 5.

“The FY22 budget has Paul Funk’s fingerprints all over it and his input, so we’re very grateful that he did all the way through that resulted in the budget we have in front of us for FY22,” Ms. DeBoer said.

Upon completion of the superintendent’s presentation, school committee chairman George Schmidt asked for public comment, and there was none.

Before the budget presentation, Ms. DeBoer presented some of the district’s recent accolades.

“I wanted to start this presentation with some of the things that we’re proud of in the Mashpee Public Schools,” Ms. DeBoer said. “First and foremost our students, our staff and our families, and the Mashpee community for working together to raise educated and skilled members of our society, and I think we really have that collaborative connectedness that’s working pretty well.”

Ms. DeBoer said the school administration is proud of the work it has done during the pandemic, new learning opportunities at Mashpee Middle-High School, K-12 STEAM education offerings and the partnership with the Wampanoag Tribe to increase cultural knowledge and awareness.

The administration is also proud of Mashpee Middle-High School’s recent ranking in the 2020 US News and World Report, she said. The school was ranked 2,179th in the nation out of 24,000 public high schools.

In Massachusetts, the school is ranked 88 out of 437 public high schools, and in Barnstable County, it is ranked third behind Sturgis Charter Public Schools and Nauset Regional High School.

In 2019, the school was ranked 4,285 in the nation, 167 in the state and sixth in Barnstable County.

“The gain reflects all of the hard work of our staff and our students,” Ms. DeBoer said.

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