SAD 33 prepares budget for vote later this month

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff
Posted June 10, 2009, at 12:26 a.m.

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — Increases in state valuation have affected SAD 33’s 2009-10 budget, which will go before taxpayers in the district’s two towns later this month.

The district consists of three schools in the towns of Frenchville and St. Agatha.

SAD 33 Superintendent Dr. Fern Desjardins said recently that the 2009-10 school year budget of $3.7 million is down from this year’s $3.8 million budget.

The SAD 33 school board approved the budget on June 1. A districtwide budget meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, at the Dr. Levesque Elementary School.

Residents will go to the polls from 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, for a referendum vote on the final version of the budget.

The superintendent said Frenchville’s state valuation has increased by $6.3 million, so Frenchville taxpayers will see an increase of $28,872 in their share of the local commitment for education.

Taxpayers in St. Agatha will be paying $10,916 less than last year.

The state is contributing less money to the district, and SAD 33 also has been hit with a $53,589 penalty for not complying with the law requiring consolidation of school administrations.

Desjardins said this year’s budget contains a number of cuts, including elimination of two teaching positions and a part-time secretary. Reductions also were made in special education and energy costs. The district was able to save money because there were no health insurance increases.

Teacher salaries were increased to keep competitive with other schools in the St. John Valley, according to the superintendent.

“The school board made all cuts by balancing the decrease in student enrollment with the need to maintain quality educational programs for our students,” she said.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/06/10/news/state/sad-33-prepares-budget-for-vote-later-this-month/ printed on July 30, 2014