Union area school district works to restore cuts

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted March 07, 2013, at 12:20 p.m.

UNION, Maine — The Regional School Unit 40 Board has gotten a look at what a budget with no increase looks like and is now considering whether to restore some of the positions and programs that faced cuts.

Superintendent Susan Pratt presented the administration’s proposed 2013-2014 budget of $22.1 million to the board on Feb. 5. The board has met twice since then to review the proposal and to consider whether to restore items that were cut or include additional ones.

The board had earlier directed the administration to present a budget with no increase. The administration also provided the board with two sets of proposed additions to the budget with the new items prioritized by administrators.

The no-increase budget cuts a part-time occupational therapist position, a Maine Learning Technology Initiative position at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, a teacher at Medomak Middle School in Waldoboro, and a teacher at the Warren Community School.

The top priority for the administration to be added back into the budget is the learning technology position. In addition, the board is being asked to add a new gifted-and-talented teacher for the district, and a pre-kindergarten program.

The original budget with zero percent increase from the approved 2012-2013 budget does include new positions — a life skills teacher at the Miller School in Waldoboro, a teacher for the day treatment program at MVHS, and a half-time assistant principal at the high school. Under that proposal, the assistant principal would be responsible for writing grants for the district.

If all the top priority items were added to the budget, the overall spending would increase by 1 percent or $204,000.

One uncertainty in the budget, however, involves the lack of a new contract with the teachers.

The current timetable for the board is to have a budget adopted no later than April 12.

The districtwide budget meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 28. A referendum at the polls in Waldoboro, Warren, Union, Friendship and Washington will then be held June 11 on whether to approve or reject what was approved at the May 28 meeting.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/03/07/news/midcoast/union-area-school-district-works-to-restore-cuts/ printed on August 2, 2014