Pinkerton Academy is in good financial shape and within the “window” of enrollment to keep it solvent.
Headmaster Griffin Morse and Financial Administrator Glenn Neagle appeared at the Jan. 12 Derry School Board meeting to discuss the semi-private high school’s FY 2016-17 budget and enrollment.
The school, located in Derry, is the school of record for Derry and the other sending towns of Auburn, Chester, Hampstead and Hooksett.
Morse said he was “delighted” with the new Memorandum of Understanding between Pinkerton and the Next Charter School. A number of Next students have enrolled in both Pinkerton classes and extracurriculars, Morse said.
Neagle gave a PowerPoint on Pinkerton’s budgeting process. It begins in late June/early July, he said, and its objective is to “deliver a high-quality education as expected by taxpayers, parents, students, alumni and its reputation in the state.”
“We justify each line item,” Neagle said. “We begin at zero.”
He added, “We monitor and anticipate the forces that will impact education and its costs.”
Projected enrollment for regular education for 2016-17 is 3,110, with 1,770 or 57 percent of those from Derry, he said. The 3,110 is a net increase of 10 students over last year.
For the school’s three Special Education programs, Resource is expecting an enrollment of 440, up 10 students; ACT (Alternative Comprehensive Training), 42 at the same; and PASSES (Pinkerton Academy’s Special Services for Educational Success) at 36, a decrease of 10 students.
The regular education budget is $35,695,439, an increase of 5.02 percent over 2015-16, Neagle said. Regular education tuition is $11,477.63, a 4.68 percent increase over 2015-16.
Neagle explained that he gets the tuition rate by divid ing the budget by the number of students. With expenses up 5.02 percent, regular education will see an increase of $513 per student, he said.
The three Special Education budgets are as follows:
• Resource, budget of $3,278,841, up 3.91 percent over 2015-16. Tuition is $7,451.91, an increase of 1.55 percent or $113.86 over last year’s. Resource tuition is added on to Pinkerton “regular” tuition.
• ACT, budget of $1,004,956, 4.07 percent increase. Tuition is $23,927.52. ACT has its own tuition, separate from the base Pinkerton tuition.
• PASSES, budget of $899,311. The PASSES budget has decreased by 6.04 percent, according to Neagle. But PASSES lost 10 students, resulting in a tuition increase of 20.06 percent, to $24,980.26.
Support staff salaries are scheduled to increase by up to 80 cents per hour, while professional staff is expecting a 2.5 percent raise.
Utilities are down for 2016-17, with natural gas down 7.5 percent, oil prices lower and electricity down 1.4 percent, Neagle said.
Capital expenses are projected at $420,000 and include: regrading and paving the front “loop;” replacing a set of exterior bleachers; replacing generators at the Science Building and Field House; replacing the roof in the Social Studies wing; new siding on Haynes House; and repointing the chimney and repairing the slate roof on the Pinkerton Building.
Neagle said the cost per pupil will be $11,773.13. “I have been here eight years, and that is a good cost per pupil,” he said. “We try hard to maintain our programs and keep our enrollment stable.”
Board chairman Dan McKenna asked, “In addition to capital costs, what are the other drivers of this budget?”
Health costs are up, Neagle replied. “We have not only seen an increase in premiums, but a shift in benefits for 30-hour workers,” he said. The school has also seen several employees shift from single coverage to two-person or family, he said.
Neagle’s presentation is on the School Administrative Unit (SAU) 10 Web site at www.sau10.org as part of the televised School Board meeting.