RSU 25 district residents to vote on $13.3 million budget

Posted May 22, 2012, at 2:19 p.m.

BUCKSPORT, Maine — Residents of the four towns that comprise RSU 25 in Hancock County will have a chance to vote Wednesday on the $13.3 million budget proposed by the district’s school board.

The RSU 25 district budget meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in Bucksport Middle School’s auditorium. The meeting is open to all residents of Bucksport, Prospect, Verona Island and Orland.

Last week, school board members unanimously endorsed a $13.3 million budget for the 2012-13 school year. That is up $464,528 — or 3.6 percent — over the budget approved by voters last year. School officials point out, however, that the increase shrinks to 1.25 percent when including $300,000 in federal stimulus money in the current budget that will not be available next year.

The increase is attributable to the loss of those federal funds, decreased state aid, higher special education costs and salary/insurance increases that are built into the current contracts. School board members have said the budget reflects attempts to make do with fewer resources while still maintaining the scope and quality of education that parents expect.

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.

If approved during Wednesday’s district meeting, the school budget will then be sent to voters in the four towns for additional ratification.

The full RSU 25 budget is available online at www.bucksportschools.com.

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