Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Opportunities to participate in the South Portland budget planning process

The budget planning process is ongoing for the South Portland 2010-2011 budget. To read about the current state of our resources explained by Suzanne Godin, Superintendent of Schools, go to:
and click on “Community Budget Forecast” in January 2010 News.
To summarize some major points:
. The state overall is continuing to suffer declining revenues in this tough economy.
. The Department of Education subsidy figures indicates a $1.6M reduction in state subsidy to South Portland. 
. The City Council requested that all departments provide a budget that does not increase the local tax rate.
. The School Department is projecting a budget deficit of $2.4M.
. This significant deficit may force reductions of 30-50 positions district wide, possibly closing school buildings, increasing class size, instituting pay to partcipate, and initiating other cost saving measures.

Your participation in this budget process is welcomed by the Board of Education and the City of South Portland. At the S.P. website,  there is a link “Click Here to make a suggestion for next year’s budget” that will lead to a comment box for suggestions. There will also be Budget Workshop Meetings that are open for public participation:

Wed., Feb. 24, 2010               7:00 pm,  Memorial Middle School
Thurs., Feb. 25, 2010             7:00 pm, Small Elementary School
Mon., March 1, 2010              7:00 pm, Skillin Elementary School
Tues., March 2, 2010              7:00 pm, Mahoney Middle School

The meeting dates below are tentatively scheduled:
Wed., March 3, 2010               7:00 pm, Dyer Elementary School
Thurs., March 4, 2010             7:00 pm, Kaler Elementary School
Mon., March 8, 2010, Board Budget Adoption, 7:00 pm, City Council Chambers
Mon., March 29, 2010, Board Budget Presentation to City Council, 7:00 pm, City Council Chambers
Mon., April 26, 2010, City Council School Budget Vote, 7:00 pm, City Council Chambers
Thurs. May 6, 2010, School Budget Referendum, SP Community Center

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hannaford Gift Card Fundraiser

We are introducing a new monthly fund raising program using Hannaford Gift Cards. To participate, all you need to do is write a check made out to the Small School PTA. We will be selling gift cards in $50.00 increments; however, you may purchase as many cards as you wish. How does this help your children and the PTA? For every $1000.00 of gift cards the PTA sells, we earn $50.00 which we then put towards field trips for your children.

The program begins in February and here’s how it works:
 At monthly PTA meetings and on Fridays at the PTA popcorn table, we will have gift cards to sell. You need to bring your check made payable to Small School PTA. We will give you your gift card and then you can shop whenever you want. There is no expiration date on the gift cards.

We will be selling gift cards in $50.00 increments; however, you may purchase as many cards as you wish.

Thank you in advance for helping us reach 2010 fundraising goals!  Please contact Margaret Donahue at 671-0859 or with any questions.

You can also visit the Hannaford site to read about the program:
This link will bring you to the Hannaford Gift Cards FAQ page (you can also click on the link that is in the Useful Links box in the right column of this blog)

Why is fundraising so important for our school?

The South Portland School Budget continues to get cut each year. All field trips and associated transportation with these field trips is paid 100% by the Small School PTA. If we cannot raise money, we will not be able to offer field trips to Small School students. The PTA spent a lot of money last year on field trips and other enrichment activities such as the whole-school trip to Merrill Auditorium to see the Yamato Drummers of Japan. We also spent money on some new equipment for the school that we typically do not buy. The school budget is tight and will be getting tighter. We are working hard to continue to raise money in these difficult times.

We are excited about the new Hannaford Gift Card program because it will enable all of us to contribute to the enrichment of our children’s education without spending extra money outside of our own budgets.   
                               Please consider participating!