The Oysterponds school board has adopted a $5.6 million budget carrying a 1.9 percent spending increase over the current year.
The proposed 2015-16 budget also includes an estimated 1.62 percent hike, or $80,425, to the tax levy.
After the school board’s budget workshop Tuesday, Superintendent Richard Malone said the increase is needed to pay for capital improvements to the roof, windows and boilers.
The elementary school district in Orient also plans to use the additional revenue to expand its ESL and music programs, he said, adding the spending increase would also cover additional special education costs.
The school board also approved placing an additional proposition on the May 19 ballot to use up to $150,000 from reserves to pay for the second phase of the district’s window replacement project.
The school board unanimously adopted the budget and approved the proposition after praising Mr. Malone for drafting the spending plan with lower transportation costs.
Mr. Malone said the budget process includes preparing the district’s finances for the next five years and includes plans to establish a foreign language program and expand music and technology.
School board member Linda Goldsmith said she’d like to see more art opportunities for students.
“School is stressful,” she said. “A little more time spent on allowing children to create, especially with color, might be something we need to think about.”
Mr. Malone said the district is looking into adding art into its science, technology, engineering and math program known as “STEM,” which he said would then become “STEAM.” (The letter “A” would stand for “art.”)
Visit the district’s website oysterponds.org to view the proposed budget.