By Diana Bowley of the Bangor Daily News: DEXTER - A proposed budget that eliminates the equivalent of 10.5 positions in SAD 46 will be presented to SAD 46 directors for adoption on Wednesday, May 14.
The cuts proposed involve 6½ special education technicians, an elementary teacher, a business education teacher, a high school social worker, and reducing two high school teaching positions in English and science to half-time.
The 2008-2009 spending plan, if adopted, would require the same assessment total as last year, according to SAD 46 Superintendent Kevin Jordan. While the total is the same, Dexter, Exeter, Ripley and Garland may pay more or less depending on changes in state valuation and per-pupil count, he said Monday.
"In my opinion, it’s a very fiscally responsible budget," Jordan said. "The school board’s budget committee really worked hard to not increase the amount of money local taxpayers have to raise for education in SAD 46."
Jordan said the budget committee proposed significant reductions to offset the rising costs of heating oil, diesel fuel, salaries and insurance. Enrollment helped dictate where the cuts would be made and the changes should not have a negative effect on students, he said.
Although the proposed budget’s bottom line reflects a total of $10,978,093, Jordan said $757,352 of that is "flow-through" funds from the state for the first interest payment on the new school project. That dedicated state revenue for the new school must be included in the district budget but it will not affect local assessments, he said.
The new school funds aside, Jordan said the actual proposed budget for the operation of SAD 46 schools in 2008-2009 is $10,220,741, which reflects an increase of 2.2 percent over the 2007-2008 budget.
To offset expenditures, the district expects $6,477,883 in subsidy, which reflects an increase of $242,885 from the current year. In addition, the budget will be reduced by local revenues of $1,392,192, which includes gate receipts, rental funds, tuition and unused 2007-2008 funds, according to Jordan. The remainder of the budget, or $2,350,666, the same amount as last year, will be requested locally from district property taxpayers, he said.
Barring any changes in the budget by directors next week, Dexter and Ripley would see decreases in their assessments of $9,990 and $2,951 respectively, and Exeter and Garland would see increases of $12,442 and $499 respectively.
A public informational meeting on the budget will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, in the high school cafeteria. The district budget meeting to vote on the spending plan will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 5, in the high school gymnasium. A referendum will be held June 10 to validate the earlier vote.
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