June 24, 2018
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County schools weighing impact of curtailment losses

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

HOULTON, Maine — School board members in SAD 29 will be meeting next week to discuss how to deal with an estimated $42,196 loss of state support as part of Gov. Paul LePage’s recent temporary curtailment order.

Other school districts in the region also are facing reductions ranging from $6,000 to $30,000.

Late last month, the governor ordered state agencies to make $35.5 million in immediate cuts, including a $12.6 million reduction in state aid for K-12 education.

The curtailment order is designed to keep the current state budget in balance amid flagging state revenue collections.

Mike Hammer, superintendent of SAD 29 in Houlton, said Thursday that the school board talked about possible financial losses and a committee will meet to consider what action to take next week.

The district could use money from its contingency account to absorb the proposed reduction in state aid, Hammer said. He said that $75,000 is customarily kept in the account in case of emergencies, such as malfunctioning equipment. Other options also will be explored.

Nearby, SAD 70 in Hodgdon is facing a $19,393 loss, while RSU 50 in Dyer Brook would be missing $30,613, according to information provided to the school districts by the state Department of Education. SAD 14 in Danforth would see a $6,132 reduction.

However, school districts won’t see actual reductions in their monthly subsidy checks until the Legislature acts on the school aid cuts.

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