A substantial increase in the regional high school budget and town assessments for the upcoming fiscal year has drawn concern from at least one Vineyard town.

Members of the Oak Bluffs finance and advisory committee appeared at the high school district committee meeting Monday night to discuss a projected $581,000 increase (13.5 per cent) in the town’s high school assessment. The increase prompted the finance committee to last week write a letter to schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss asking that the regional high school committee and all-Island school committee reconsider portions of the FY 2016 budget.

At the meeting Monday, Mr. Weiss said he expected the assessment to go down once final numbers for the budget are in place. Final numbers hinge on the state governor’s budget, which allocates Chapter 70 education aid to school districts, and on health care spending. Mr. Weiss said some figures are expected by the middle of the month.

“The numbers were an estimate, and probably a high estimate,” he said of the town assessments.

He also noted that the increase in assessments was not entirely the result of a budget increase but rather a loss of revenue. The budget took a hit because $881,000 in state funding, which came to the school annually in the form of reimbursements for debt payments on new construction in the 1990s, is no longer being awarded. The bond for the work has been paid off.

The $18.5 million high school budget was approved by the school committee last month. Assessments are determined using the state statutory formula.

“I’m certainly not here to argue about the lack of value in either the high school or the shared services budget, so I can’t point to any particular item and say, you should cut this,” said finance committee chairman Steve Auerbach, who attended the meeting. “But the main point of the letter is simply to point out that we do not generate enough revenue to fund your entire budgets.”

He continued: “We just can’t ask the townspeople to fund an override every year.” Oak Bluffs passed a $600,000 override at its annual town meeting last year to accommodate increases in the high school budget. Half of the money was spent, with the rest put aside to use this year.

“We have carved out enough room in the budget for a $450,000 increase [in the assessment], which is 10 per cent above the previous year, but that still isn’t enough,” Mr. Auerbach said.

Mr. Weiss said other towns had also expressed concern about the assessments, and that $175,000 will be taken from an excess and deficiency fund to lessen the increases.“We recommended that this would be the year to use E and D . . . . to help soften the blow,” he said.

He recommended taking no action on the budget until the figures from the governor’s budget became available. The school committee agreed.

Mr. Auerbach and Oak Bluffs school committee members in attendance said that they felt there had been good communication between the high school budget subcommittee and the finance committee during the process.

“I’m glad we have open communication; I’m looking forward to more of it,” said Lisa Reagan, who attended many of the budget subcommittee meetings.

“We’re all boosters of the schools,” Mr. Auerbach said. “We want the Island to have the best schools it can possibly have.”

In other business Monday, the board voted to enter into a contract with architecture firm Keenan and Kenny for the schematic design phase of a new superintendent building. The contract is for $322,000.

Mr. Weiss presented a series of recommendations made by consultant Kevin Segalla regarding changes to the custodians’ cleaning schedule and job training. Mr. Segalla made a facilities tour of the school in November along with members of the administration and school committee, part of an ongoing effort to address numerous maintenance and upkeep issues. The codification of the cleaning schedule is one solution to come out of that effort.

“The idea is to make sure things are done on a cyclical basis,” Mr. Weiss said. “Not only the daily, weekly, but the monthly, quarterly, six months . . . there will be a booklet that we’ll have for staff of each building that will lay those things out.

“We don’t do a lot of training for our custodians, and that’s a mistake,” he said. “It’s kind of on-the-job training, and we really need to do a better job.”

Nine teachers representing the high school, the Edgartown School, the Oak Bluffs School, and the West Tisbury School were the recipients of mini grants from the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank. Grants ranged in amount from $210 to $500, and a total of $3,668 was dispersed. The money will be used to purchase Lego robotics kits, reading materials, and an egg incubator.

The committee also approved a proposal from Benjamin Brisson and Dean Golder to create the Geoffrey Pease Memorial Scholarship for high school students planning to study visual arts in college. The scholarship is in memory of the late Mr. Pease, a 2004 graduate of the high school who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and died at the age of 21.

The school committee received several donations from the community. Nancy Shaw Cramer of the Shaw Cramer Gallery donated 11 artwork display pedestals to the high school, and the Island Autism Group sent $497.02 for classroom materials. The Edgartown School’s early bird reading program received a donation of $1,000 from the Rotary Club. Edgartown School was also awarded $9,311 from the Sound Foundation to incorporate a yoga program into its curriculum. The program is already in use at other Island elementary schools.