GREENVILLE, Maine — Greenville residents fund about 98 percent of the school budget locally, and next year will be no different.
Residents at the annual school budget meeting Monday approved a $3.4 million school spending plan for the Greenville School Department. Of that amount, property taxpayers will raise $1,851,433 to match $1,128,998 in state subsidy. Also, residents voted to raise an additional $426,924 locally without a state match to offset costs.
Unless the state changes its Essential Programs and Services funding formula, Superintendent Heather Perry said the town would continue to pay this funding percentage. With 236 pupils in kindergarten through grade 12, the per pupil cost averages about $14,000, according to Perry.
A resident asked what the cost would be to bus pupils to SAD 4 in Guilford. Perry said the town would actually lose money overall doing that. She said that while SAD 4 has a per pupil cost of about $7,000, Greenville’s transportation costs would jump threefold and unemployment costs would increase. In addition, the town still would have to maintain the school buildings while facing the loss of revenues, she said.
School officials are working to reduce costs by looking at more in-house regionalization, according to Perry. She urged residents to attend a meeting at the school at 7 p.m. June 15, when a proposal to move elementary pupils from the Nickerson building to the Oakes building will be discussed. The proposal is to close the Nickerson building.
Perry also noted that the Legislature had approved a bill to exclude Greenville from the state’s school administrative reorganization effort based on the school’s isolation. Despite its remoteness, the Greenville School Department has long been entrenched in regionalization efforts and shares its superintendent with Jackman schools. Perry said the expected $82,000 penalty loss from the state was figured into the budget. When the governor signs the bill, the $82,000 will be placed into an account for use next year, she said.
The budget includes a $90,640 salary for Perry. Of that amount, Jackman will pay 28 percent and the remainder will be divided among the Union 60 towns of Greenville, Beaver Cove, Shirley, Willimantic and Kingsbury Plantation.