DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The SAD 68 board of directors on Tuesday adopted a 2010 spending plan of $9.6 million.
While the budget is about $600,000 less than the current year, because of rising costs and declining subsidy, the towns of Dover-Foxcroft, Charleston, Monson and Sebec will see an increase in assessments. Those increases range from a low of .58 percent for Monson to a high of 5.43 percent for Charleston, according to SAD 68 Superintendent Ann Bridge.
A public informational budget meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, at SeDoMoCha Middle School. The district budget meeting will be held immediately after the informational meeting. A budget validation referendum will be held on June 29 in each of the district’s towns.
“It was a huge undertaking and a huge effort to try to sustain educational programming, and yet bring in a budget that we felt was responsible and fundable by the citizens,” Bridge said Wednesday.
Even though negotiations are under way with the SAD 68 Teachers Association, no salary increases are included in the budget for teachers. There was one salary adjustment districtwide which involved the technology coordinator, Bridge said.
In addition, there are no increases budgeted for most other employees, including those salaried within the district, Bridge said. There may be some nonunionized custodians, food service and clerical workers who are eligible for step increases, she said.
Employees not included under master negotiated contracts will have to absorb any increase in health insurance, according to Bridge. The custodians and clerical workers have a different insurance plan than the teachers association and the education technicians, so they will have to absorb an increase of about 5 percent, she said.
“We made a very strenuous effort here to hold the line,” Bridge said. “We pared it back $600,000.”
Bridge said the district received notification last week that the Department of Education will not penalize the district the approximately $175,000 for not regionalizing its administrative duties. While Sebec, Monson and Charleston rejected reorganization, Dover-Foxcroft residents supported the move, but there were no partners, she said.
By virtue of receiving the funds, Bridge said the implication is pretty clear that the district has got to move forward on reorganization and find a partner.
Unless the reorganization law is changed during a statewide referendum vote in November, the expectation is the district either will have a reorganization plan in place in January 2010 or face the penalty next year, she said.