Hermon voters to consider $12.5 million school budget

Posted May 22, 2012, at 7:32 p.m.

HERMON, Maine — Residents will be asked to approve a $12.5 million school budget during a special town meeting set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Hermon Middle School gym.

The $12,498,376 budget proposal for the 2012-13 fiscal year reflects a 4.4 percent increase from this year’s budget, Superintendent Patricia Duran said Tuesday.

Despite the increase in planned expenditures, the impact on Hermon taxpayers — whose share of this year’s budget was $3,924,444 — will be softer than initially projected.

Duran said the portion of the school budget to be borne locally will increase by just under $29,000, or less than 1 percent.

During a budget presentation for the school committee last month, Duran said that while Hermon schools no longer have access to the federal stimulus funds they have used in the past few years to help cover personnel and training costs, the Maine Department of Education’s latest estimates indicate that Hermon will receive $628,000 more in school subsidy next year than it did this year.

Among other things, the proposed budget includes four new positions:

• A second-grade classroom teacher for Hermon Elementary School. Duran said the additional teacher was proposed because of an unusually large first-grade class that is just starting to come up through the school system.

• A regular education technician for the Help Center at Hermon Middle School. Duran said the Help Center now employs a certified teacher who provides assistance with reading and language arts. The new position, if approved, would focus on math.

• A half-time science position and a half-time foreign language position at Hermon High School.

• A 20-hour-a-week custodian for the middle school.

Thursday’s special town meeting is the first of two voter approvals required by the state for the adoption of school budgets. Voters will be asked to approve school funding again during local elections on Tuesday, June 12.

Also on election day, residents will elect town councilors and school committee members, consider amendments to the town charter and decide if they want to spend $160,932 to buy the house and land at 299 Fuller Road, next door to the town office and public safety building.

The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Hermon Elementary School.

The annual town meeting, during which voters will be asked to approve a municipal budget and handle other housekeeping matters, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14, in the Hermon High School auditorium.

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