Budget Standoff Continues for Up-Island School District

Despite hours of debate and five drafts of an operating budget, the up-Island regional school committee has yet to agree on a financial plan for 2015. Now under discussion is a draft that asks for an increase of 8.09 per cent, $752,000 more than last year.

Finance Leaders Sound Alarm Over Up-Island School Budget

The latest version of the budget is just over $10 million, an 8.2 per cent increase over last year. The finance committee and town accountant in West Tisbury say it's too much for taxpayers to bear in the long term.

Quality of Up-Island Spanish Program Questioned

Amid a discussion of tough choices as the up-Island school committee prepares to vote on a significant increase to the district budget, the up-Island Spanish program came under scrutiny Monday night.

Budget Increase Approved For Up-Island Schools

The up-Island regional school committee voted this week to certify a budget for the coming fiscal year of $9.1 million, a 3.5 per cent increase over last year. Increases can be tracked to money that must be set aside for post-retirement benefits for school workers and funds for Chilmark school renovations. Schools are now required to set aside money to cover the cost of future health benefits for employees who will retire.

Security Concerns Surface at Up-Island School Meeting

An up-Island school committee meeting to discuss and approve the annual budget Monday spilled into a heartfelt discussion about security in the public schools following the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., last week.

Up-Island School Budget Jumps 15 Per Cent

Up-Island School Budget Jumps 15 Per Cent

By CHRIS BURRELL

Taxpayers in Aquinnah, Chilmark and West Tisbury will see the cost of educating schoolchildren rise sharply next year as the proposed budget for the Up-Island Regional School District goes from $5.9 million to more than $6.8 million, a 15 per cent increase.

The reasons are much the same as at the regional high school, where the budget will jump by almost 10 per cent next year. State aid is dropping, and the cost of insurance is climbing.

West Tisbury and Chilmark Selectmen Collide Over Up-Island School Study

West Tisbury and Chilmark Selectmen Collide Over Up-Island School Study

IAN FEIN

West Tisbury and Chilmark selectmen knocked heads this week over whether a task force studying the Up-Island Regional School District should consider closing the Chilmark School.

The dispute could end the task force study before it even begins, and ultimately unravel the entire regional district, whose future is now in question.

Debate Continues on Fair Share in Up-Island School Finances

Debate Continues on Fair Share in Up-Island School Finances

By CHRIS BURRELL

Voters in West Tisbury will need more than a calculator to sort out the dispute raging up-Island over school costs.

Less than one week after Vineyard schools leaders unveiled financial scenarios showing that it would cost West Tisbury more than $600,000 in one year if it withdrew from the school region, the finance committee is busily crunching numbers and reaching an entirely different conclusion.

Up-Island Parents and Educators Ponder District's Shaky Prospects

Up-Island Parents and Educators Ponder District's Shaky Prospects

CHRIS BURRELL

Spencer Booker lives in Aquinnah, and when it came time to decide where to send his three children for grade school, the choice was obvious. Proximity was key, so they chose the Chilmark School.

"It was geographical, the closest school to my house," he said. "And it's a great little school, very intimate, very supportive. All the teachers know all the students, first name and last. That's the kind of environment I want to put my kids into for their education."

Two Principals Quitting, Adding to Year's Turmoil in the Up-Island District

Two Principals Quitting, Adding to Year's Turmoil in the Up-Island District

CHRIS BURRELL

Just six weeks before the start of a new school year, principals at both the West Tisbury School and Chilmark School have announced they are quitting their jobs.

Letters of resignation from Elaine Pace and Carlos Colley forced the Up Island Regional school committee into an unscheduled meeting Friday to deal with the doubleheader of departures.

"It's fair to say this was unexpected," said Kathy Logue, chairman of the regional school board.

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