Minuteman FAQ (One Response)

Minuteman FAQ:

Why is there a referendum on September 20, 2016?

The decision has been made by the Minuteman School Committee to construct a new building at a total cost of $144,922,478 million.  The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) has committed to funding up to $44,139,213, the district must borrow the balance.

Pursuant to M.G.L. Ch. 71, Sec. 16(d), which describes the powers and duties of a school district, the district may authorize borrowing of capital funds in two different ways:

First,the member towns may “…hold a town meeting for the purpose of expressing disapproval of the amount of debt authorized by the district committee and if at that meeting a majority of the voters present and voting express disapproval of the amount authorized by the district committee, the debt shall not be incurred…”  At Belmont’s May 4th, 2016 Special Town Meeting to consider the issue, Town Meeting voted 141-81 against issuing the debt.

The decision was then made by the Minuteman School Committee to “…hold an election in the member communities to authorize debt for the purposes of building a school building by a majority vote…” pursuant to M.G.L. Ch. 71, Sec. 16(n).  The election will be held from noon-8:00pm on September 20, 2016?

Why can I only vote from noon-8:00pm on September 20, 2016?

The communities are limited by statute to keep the polls open for eight hours.  Pursuant to M.G.L. Ch. 71, Sec. 16(n), the district may hold an election in the member communities to authorize debt for the purposes of building a school building by a majority vote but: the hours during which all the polls in the district are open shall be uniform throughout the district and shall be not less than four nor more than eight consecutive hours.

How much will the new building cost?

The new building is projected to cost up to $144,922,478 of which the MBSA will contribute a grant of up to $44,139,213.

How will the cost of the new building be distributed to the different communities?

The debt service costs for the proposed new school would raise per student assessments by $8,463 per student based an equal share paid by all students based on full projected enrollment.  DESE has the power to add a capital assessment to the fees paid by non-member communities, but it has never been done before so there is no precedent to see how DESE would allocate the cost (but see for one possibility  603 CMR 4.03 (6)(b)4.c).

How much does it cost member communities to send a student to Minuteman?

For member communities cost per student varies based on enrollment, transportation and other factors.  A full breakout of costs can be seen on pages 34-36 of the FY17 budget book, which is the basis for the per pupil cost chart below:

Acton Total FTE Students  Total Assessment Assessment/Students
2017 33 $                   997,655  $                 30,231.97
2016 30 $                   925,545  $                     30,851.50
2015 26 $                   760,052  $                     29,232.77
2014 21 $                   686,980  $                     32,713.33
2013 30 $                   801,938  $                     26,731.27
Arlington
2017 120 $               3,649,349  $                     30,411.24
2016 152 $               4,010,950  $                     26,387.83
2015 165 $               3,788,615  $                     22,961.30
2014 138 $               3,336,935  $                     24,180.69
2013 139 $               3,022,146  $                     21,742.06
Belmont
2017 26 $                   795,654  $                     30,602.08
2016 31 $                   831,520  $                     26,823.23
2015 31 $                   751,046  $                     24,227.29
2014 34 $                   851,984  $                     25,058.35
2013 41 $                   940,000  $                     22,926.83
Bolton
2017 9 $                   398,810  $                     44,312.22
2016 10 $                   428,949  $                     42,894.90
2015 11 $                   385,740  $                     35,067.27
2014 10 $                   357,347  $                     35,734.70
2013 10 $                   341,165  $                     34,116.50
Boxborough
2017 7 $                   197,492  $                     28,213.14
2016 5 $                   165,341  $                     33,068.20
2015 5 $                   147,254  $                     29,450.80
2014 6 $                   177,557  $                     29,592.83
2013 8 $                   227,929  $                     28,491.13
Carlisle
2017 5 $                   173,559  $                     34,711.80
2016 8 $                   226,284  $                     28,285.50
2015 12 $                   327,520  $                     27,293.33
2014 9 $                   246,153  $                     27,350.33
2013 7 $                   190,231  $                     27,175.86
Concord
2017 17 $                   423,444  $                     24,908.47
2016 16 $                   407,041  $                     25,440.06
2015 7 $                   191,689  $                     27,384.14
2014 9 $                   227,033  $                     25,225.89
2013 18 $                   437,910  $                     24,328.33
Dover
2017 2 $                     75,016  $                     37,508.00
2016 3 $                     91,149  $                     30,383.00
2015 1 $                     37,798  $                     37,798.00
2014 2 $                     67,530  $                     33,765.00
2013 2 $                     60,573  $                     30,286.50
Lancaster
2017 39 $               1,000,558  $                     25,655.33
2016 32 $                   964,837  $                     30,151.16
2015 27 $                   699,343  $                     25,901.59
2014 22 $                   348,294  $                     15,831.55
2013 19 $                   560,764  $                     29,513.89
Lexington
2017 57 $               1,377,449  $                     24,165.77
2016 52 $               1,172,735  $                     22,552.60
2015 52 $               1,244,385  $                     23,930.48
2014 60 $               1,474,265  $                     24,571.08
2013 63 $               1,407,978  $                     22,348.86
Lincoln
2017 11 $                   239,876  $                     21,806.91
2016 6 $                   150,973  $                     25,162.17
2015 6 $                   138,243  $                     23,040.50
2014 4 $                     99,012  $                     24,753.00
2013 4 $                     95,655  $                     23,913.75
Needham
2017 25 $                   766,061  $                     30,642.44
2016 24 $                   650,010  $                     27,083.75
2015 35 $                   893,211  $                     25,520.31
2014 27 $                   733,961  $                     27,183.74
2013 34 $                   777,052  $                     22,854.47
Stow
2017 13 $                   577,577  $                     44,429.00
2016 19 $                   618,679  $                     32,562.05
2015 22 $                   657,205  $                     29,872.95
2014 26 $                   766,081  $                     29,464.65
2013 23 $                   620,008  $                     26,956.87
Sudbury
2017 25 $                   623,943  $                     24,957.72
2016 25 $                   694,383  $                     27,775.32
2015 22 $                   543,451  $                     24,702.32
2014 17 $                   444,836  $                     26,166.82
2013 11 $                   274,416  $                     24,946.91
Wayland
2017 2 $                     93,215  $                     46,607.50
2016 4 $                   109,056  $                     27,264.00
2015 9.5 $                   203,027  $                     21,371.26
2014 9.5 $                   212,417  $                     22,359.68
2013 11.5 $                   257,221  $                     22,367.04
Weston
2017 5 $                   122,810  $                     24,562.00
2016 3 $                     91,498  $                     30,499.33
2015 4 $                   110,127  $                     27,531.75
2014 4 $                   104,311  $                     26,077.75
2013 3 $                     81,925  $                     27,308.33

How much does it cost a non-member communities to send a student to Minuteman?

Minuteman non-member tuition is set annually by DESE:

FY2014: $18,309

FY2015: $18,467

FY2016: $17,556

FY2017: $16,464

Please note, this does not include transportation costs and special education costs which together, assuming that 50% of kids have IEPs, add an average of roughly $4,000 per student.

How does the per pupil cost of Minuteman compare to other regional vocational schools? 

FY15 per pupil expenditure:

MINUTEMAN  $28,208
SOUTH MIDDLESEX  $25,758
CAPE COD  $24,490
FRANKLIN COUNTY  $23,625
NORFOLK COUNTY  $22,391
PATHFINDER  $22,343
ESSEX NORTH SHORE  $21,462
BLUE HILLS  $21,335
UPPER CAPE COD  $21,313
GREATER LAWRENCE  $20,558
NORTHEAST METROPOLITAN  $20,309
SOUTH SHORE  $20,232
SOUTHEASTERN  $20,010
NORTHERN BERKSHIRE  $19,712
SHAWSHEEN VALLEY  $19,299
OLD COLONY  $19,291
BRISTOL COUNTY  $19,277
GREATER LOWELL  $18,952
ASSABET VALLEY  $18,673
GREATER NEW BEDFORD  $18,579
BLACKSTONE VALLEY  $18,349
MONTACHUSETT  $18,275
WHITTIER  $18,273
GREATER FALL RIVER  $18,089
SOUTHERN WORCESTER  $17,881
TRI COUNTY  $17,806
BRISTOL PLYMOUTH  $17,516
NASHOBA VALLEY  $17,030

Source: DESE PPE15

Where can I find a copy of the Minuteman Operating Budget?

FY2017
FY2016

Where can I find a copy of the regional agreement governing the Minuteman District?

1980 Regional Agreement 
2016 Regional Agreement, effective 3/11/2016

What has been the enrollment at Minuteman High School?

Belmont Total Member Enrollment Total Non-Member Enrollment Total
2001 28 418 379 797
2002 26 416 343 759
2003 30 492 303 795
2004 31 522 270 792
2005 34 520 254 774
2006 24 479 245 724
2007 31 455 245 700
2008 33 438 260 698
2009 38 430 250 680
2010 41 445 309 754
2011 41 430 355 785
2012 34 409 340 749
2013 31 437 356 793
2014 31 410 332 742
2015 26 390.5 227 667.5

See page 15 of the FY17 budget for full enrollment data.  

What is the projected future enrollment of Minuteman High School?

The new school is designed to accommodate 628 students: 524 in-district, 104 out-of-district within 5 years.  (see pg. 7

What kind of educational programming is offered at Minuteman?

The new building will allow Minuteman to offer 16 different career concentrations:

Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive Technology, Biotechnology, Carpentry, Cosmetology/Barbering, Culinary/Hospitality, Design & Visual Communications, Early Education & Care, Electrical, Environmental Science & Technology, Health Occupations, Horticulture, Multi-Media Engineering, Plumbing, Programming & Web Development and Robotics Engineering Automation. (see Minuteman’s Educational Program Plan and Labor Market Analysis for full details)  

What happens to Minuteman Students after graduation?

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Total Graduates 129 139 142 93 148 170
4 Year College 34% 38% 44% 39% 44% 55%
2 Year College 34% 30% 20% 22% 23% 9%
Employed 19% 12% 27% 23% 19% 24%
Military 5% 3% 3% 8% 7% 4%
Advanced Technical Training 4% 5% 1% 2% 1% 3%

See page 12

Additional Resources: 

Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District

Belmont Town Meeting Documents for 2016 Special Town Meeting: May 4, 2016

Don’t Quit Minuteman — A Belmont Yes Campaign

A Better Plan for Belmont — A Belmont No Campaign

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