Hello SAU 67,
I write today to update both the Dunbarton and Bow School District Communities about the Annual meeting process and progress. Spring in NH is when local control is exercised as communities come together and make decisions about budgets, schools and elected officials.
The Bow Annual School District meeting will be held at BHS onstarting at . The Dunbarton School District meeting will start at on in the Community Center. Voting for elected officials will Tuesday March 14 in the Community Center for Dunbarton and at BMS for Bow. There is no school that day to accommodate elections and we will have a teacher workshop day instead.
Budget Hearings have been completed and the warrants have been set for the March meetings. My intent of this update is to summarize the major issues for consideration and to link to other sites where voters can get more information. I will try to be fact based and non-partial in my presentation of the issues, but I will also try to outline the major decisions.
The Bow School Board will host an informational forum on Annual Meeting topics on Tuesday, March 7th at 6:30pm in the BMS band room. The purpose is to discuss the proposed budget and warrant.
There are contested races in both Dunbarton and Bow for positions impacting schools. Dunbarton has three candidates for two school board positions: Deborah Trottier, John Herlihy and Heather Lalla. Bow has five candidates for two school board positions: Bryce Larrabee, Jeffery Knight, Ginger Fraser, Bill Kuch and June Branscom. There are four candidates running for two slots on the Bow Budget Committee: Marc L Van De Water, Robert Arnold, Matthew Poulin and Mark Zerba.
For Bow, the Baker Free Library will host a Candidates Night on here.. Each candidate will have 5 minutes to speak about their background and goals for the town, with a meet and greet with residents after all candidates have spoken. The BFL also publishes information supplied by the candidates which can be found
The Dunbarton PTO will host a Meet the Candidates Nightin the DES Library. Each candidate will be invited to give a brief, 3 minute presentation, and after all candidates have presented, the audience will be allowed to ask questions of the candidates.
Bow Annual Meeting
The warrant for the annual meeting is here. Bow has a Budget Committee and a School Board so votes of each body are printed on the warrant. I will highlight the differences between the two groups on the warrant. The Bow School Board has developed a Newsletter on the budget and warrant which can be found here.
Warrant Article 2, the Budget. The Budget Committee's budget number is on the warrant and is moved first. Amendments to this number, up or down, can then be proposed. The School Board's number is also printed on the warrant. This year the difference between the two numbers is $758,614 with the School Board's number being higher. The Budget Committee does submit a bottom line number and has to indicate where funds should be distributed, but ultimately the School Board is responsible for implementing whatever budget is passed and thus is ultimately responsible for the spending plan. The specifics of the issues are too long for this update, I would refer you to the Bow School Board's website for documents about the Budget, the March Annual Meeting and past Superintendent's Updates that give detail, history and context to the issues.
Article 3. Deposit of $300,000 to CRF. The School Board is proposing depositing $300,000 from the year end fund balance to a capital reserve fund. This will reduce the amount of fund balance that offsets next year's taxes, so it does have an impact on taxes. The genesis of this article is the felt need to save money for the potential future BES renovation project. The Budget Committee does not support this article. The net effect of the deposit would be $196,850 as warrant articles 4 & 5 propose taking money from this same fund for projects. The fund is presently at $400,000 and there is an additional HVAC fund of $500,000 that could be put toward the BES project.
Article 6 $25,000 from taxes for BMS play and learning area. The School Board supports and the Budget Committee opposes raising $25,000 to support the Wildcat Habitat outdoor play and learning center. This is a large project that involves donations from businesses and individuals as well as cooperation and in kind donations for the site work from the Town of Bow.
Dunbarton Annual Meeting
The Dunbarton Warrant is found as part of the budget hearing packet found here. There is no budget committee in Dunbarton so there are no separate votes to display. Supporting documentation for all of the articles can be found on the Dunbarton School Board website as part of the budget hearing packet.
Article 3, Tuition sixth grade for ADK. This article would allow all day kindergarten to continue by tuitioning up to 8 students early to Bow for 6th grade at a cost of $97,192. If the article is defeated, then kindergarten will default to half day.
Article 4, the Budget. The Operating Budget is up 6.16% Details on tax impact are part of the materials on the website.
Articles 5,6 & 7-Capital Improvement Plan. The Dunbarton School Board is working in a long term capital improvement plan. This plan would involve adding a classroom addition, reconfiguring the entrance and administrative area of the building to maximize office and small instructional space, and address many building system issues.
The budget packet and the budget hearing have a lot of detail on these issues and proposals.
I hope that this update has been useful, please feel free to contact me or Duane Ford for technical questions, or to contact a school board member for other questions.