BUCKSPORT, Maine — Members of RSU 25’s board voted unanimously Monday night to adopt a $13.3 million budget. Local residents, meanwhile, will get a chance to weigh in on the proposed spending plan during a meeting next week and subsequent balloting in their towns.
The proposed 2012-13 budget represents an increase of $464,528 — or 3.6 percent — over the school budget approved by voters in Bucksport, Orland, Verona Island and Prospect last year. However, school officials point out that the proposed budget only would increase by 1.25 percent when including $300,000 in federal stimulus that was used to soften the blow on communities this year but will not be available during the 2012-13 school year.
School board members and RSU 25 Superintendent Jim Boothby said Monday that they attempted to keep the increase to a minimum but were constrained by the loss of federal funds, decreased state aid, higher special education costs and contractually obligated salary/insurance increases.
If approved as written, the proposed budget would require the four towns to pay the following local share to the schools: $5.8 million in Bucksport, an increase of roughly $314,500 over last year; $2.1 million in Orland, a decrease of $9,200; $442,000 in Prospect, an increase of $42,600; and $462,000 in Verona Island, an increase of $16,100.
A public meeting on the RSU 25 budget will be held on May 23.