The Programming Subcommittee has taken a deep dive into the question of how a cooperative school would be staffed, how many students would be in a classroom, what the school would need for administrators and their assistants, and how much it would cost. Their work is now available here, in a series of Working Papers. They are available at the link at the top of this page. Please remember that these are works in progress. There will undoubtedly be changes to come. They will be posted here.
A brief summary: "Elementary Budgets by School & Year" gives a history of school expenditures in each town in recent years. We've used actual (audited) amounts where possible. Spending has ranged from a combined $4.3 million in 2019-20 to $4.5 million in 2014-15.
"Recommended Class Sizes" shows current enrollments by class in each school, and the anticipated totals for a cooperative school. Current class sizes range from 7 (Hampton 1st and 5th Grades) to 15 (Scotland 6th Grade). Recommended sizes for a combined school range from 15-20 in Kindergarten to No MOre than 25 in 5th and 6th Grades. Using current numbers classes in a coop school would range from 16 (5th Grade) to 25 (6th Grade), and next year would range from 16 (6th Grade) to 24 (3rd and 4th Grades.)
"Appendix A" provides current certified teacher, paraprofessional, and administrative staffing and recommended staffing, along with estimates of salary costs. Current teacher staffing is 19.8 Full Time Equivalent (11.2 in Scotland, 8.6 in Hampton). Paraprofessional staff number 11 in Scotland and 9 in Hampton. Current administration consists of a .4 FTE superintendent and a full-time principal in each school, and a .4 FTE Special Education Director in Scotland and a .2 FTE Special Education Director in Hampton
Recommended certified staffing is 9.7 FTE but this does does not include 2 Pre-Kindergarten teachers, 3 Special Education teachers, or a School Counselor recommended in the budget, for a total of 15.7 FTE certified staff. Recommended paraprofessional staffing is 14. The Superintendent position would be a .5 FTE, the principal would be full-time , and the Special Education Director would be a .6 position.
The "Combined Budget Model" is a spreadsheet showing how much this would cost, along with this year's budgeted expenditures. The estimated totals for this year are $4.64 million ($2.53MM Scotland, $2.11MM Hampton). The estimated total for a coop school is $2.91 million. The estimated savings are $1.7 million for the two towns combined.
According to the current draft, the $2.91 million total budget would be allocated to the local Boards of Education according to enrollment on October 1 of the previous year. If the coop school were to open next year (which it will not), using current enrollment figures, Scotland's share of the $2.91MM would be 58.8% or $1.68MM, and Hampton;s would be 41.2%, or $1.23MM. Added to those numbers would be each town's costs for transportation, out-of-district special education, STEM and magnet tuition, and miscellaneous expenses. Using this year's numbers, that would raise Scotland's costs to $1.85MM and Hampton's to $1.56MM.
One last note on the budget: Some expenditures at both schools are funded by grants, which are generally not part of the operating budget, and which are accounted for differently in each town. That means that a strict apples-to-apples comparison cannot yet be achieved. The final document will make a closer comparison possible.
"School Capacities" lists the number of people the buildings can hold. These numbers are based on building and fire codes, not on educational models. The Scotland School can hold up to 1818 people, 844 of them in classrooms. We are still awaiting numbers for Hampton.
"State and Town Enrollment Trends" is a chart of enrollment over the last six years, state and town wide. Scotland School has gone from 116 to 101, with a low of 88 in 2020-21. Hampton has gone from 105 to 74, with a low of 73 in 2020-21.
"Local Superintendent and Principal Salary" lists those salaries for towns that are nearby or demographically similar to ours. Superintendent salaries range from $57,500 (Scotland) to $90,000 (Marlborough). Hampton's is $62,000. Principal salaries range from $98,000 (Scotland) to $150,000 (Marlborough). Hampton's is $103,000
Please explore these documents and let us know your thoughts. You can do that now via email or at future meetings of the subcommittees, which will be announced here. In addition, we will be scheduling public information sessions as soon as the draft agreement and budget are in final form.