After an increase of less than 2.5 per cent for the current fiscal year, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School is now looking at a roughly 7.5 per cent hike in its operating costs for fiscal year 2025, which begins next July 1.

High school officials are still working to pare costs before presenting the budget to the school committee Monday night, principal Sara Dingledy told the Gazette Wednesday.

“We’re not done with it; that was just the first draft,” she said of the nearly $27 million spending plan approved by the budget subcommittee this week.

Whatever the final increase proves to be, employee contracts will account for more than half of it. The school district negotiated new agreements with all of its staff unions in late 2022, with the bulk of their pay raises coming next year.

“The contractual increases are 4.5 per cent … just [for] existing, level services,” Ms. Dingledy said.

The school also is seeking to hire more teachers for its English language learners and students with disabilities, further adding to the payroll.

However, Ms. Dingledy told the high school budget subcommittee on Nov. 27, those positions will be funded with newly-available state aid instead of assessments from Island towns.

“What we are asking for is subsidized by the state,” she said.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is issuing the funds to address a statewide increase in students’ need for educational support and opportunity, Ms. Dingledy said.

“With those revenues, [we] are addressing student need,” she said.

The draft budget shows Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School receiving a total of $3,548,266 from the state’s Chapter 70 school aid program, a $580,176 boost over the current fiscal year’s Chapter 70 revenue.

Other sources of revenue include an anticipated $130,000 from the state’s Rural School Aid program and $107,000 from the federal Title I program, Ms. Dingledy said.

The state also is providing $436,499 in regional transportation aid, the same amount as in the current budget.

The athletics department is seeking nearly $92,000 more in the draft budget, with the lion’s share — $76,980 — for equipment, a 38 per cent increase.

“We’ve severely underfunded athletics, in comparison to our cohorts in the area … There has not been an increase in the budget in a bunch of years,” said school committee member Louis Paciello, who chairs the athletics subcommittee, at the Nov. 27 budget meeting.

Uniforms, equipment and other supplies have risen in cost over the years, Mr. Paciello said.

Game officials also have been harder to recruit, he said, leading to a $11,409 request for referee stipends.

“We have an issue with referees for games. They no longer want to come to the Island because of the travel, and so we need to entice them with increased pay,” Mr. Paciello said.

Ms. Dingledy backed the athletics department’s requests.

“[It] is a small percentage of our overall increase, but we think will pay dividends into school culture and school pride and the engagement of our athletes,” she told the budget subcommittee.

The regional high school committee meets Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the school library and online to review the second draft of the budget.