February 21, 2018
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Proposed SAD 46 school budget includes staff cuts

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff

DEXTER, Maine — A proposed SAD 46 school budget that includes the reduction of 6.5 positions will be voted on by residents at a 6 p.m. Thursday, June 2, budget meeting at Ridge View Community School.

The $12,452,885 budget, which reflects a decrease of $287,228 from the current year, also  includes an administrative and extracurricular stipend freeze for the second consecutive year and a proposal to contract out four evening custodial positions.

The reduction in force eliminates an office secretary, two library education technicians, a third-grade teacher and a part-time special education tutor. The district also will not replace a science teacher and a special education technician after their retirements this year. The reduction follows a similar reduction last year, when eight positions were eliminated to help offset state subsidy loss.  

SAD 46 Superintendent Kevin Jordan said the state subsidy formula relies on pupil count and valuation. One of the driving forces for the 2011-12 subsidy decline was that Dexter’s valuation increased by 9 percent when the state average was about 1 percent.

The district will need to raise $2,701,630 to receive the state share of $8,396,956.

“It’s a cost shift that’s a heavy burden for us to deal with in education,” Jordan said. “When you’re significantly above state average, the formula sees that as a direct correlation to how well the local communities can support education financially. It’s a tough pill to swallow right now.”

Jordan said the district currently is negotiating with all four of its units: teachers, support staff, bus drivers and custodians. The district is in its last year of all four of those contracts, he said.

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