Fate of school positions rests with Rockland-area board

Posted June 11, 2014, at 2:47 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Though voters on Tuesday approved a higher Regional School Unit 13 budget than originally proposed, the School Board still must decide whether to restore some positions that were cut.

Residents attending a districtwide budget meeting last month added $72,000 to the proposed budget in order to retain an industrial technology position that focuses on woodworking at Thomaston Grammar School, as well as several library media positions in the district.

That larger budget totaling $27,164,000 was approved during Tuesday’s elections by a vote of 733-505. It was supported by each of the six RSU 13 member communities, with the closest vote being in Cushing, which backed it 69-58.

The budget is about $54,000 less than the 2013-14 budget but because of less revenues, the district will need to collect about 4 percent more in property taxes from the communities.

During the May districtwide budget meeting, parents also lobbied to put money in the budget to retain foreign language in the elementary grades but were told that the district might be able to find another source of revenues for that program.

Board Vice Chairman Loren Andrews said Wednesday it was wonderful that voters supported the budget at the polls this week.

“Even though there are still tough times, voters realized this was the best budget we could do,” Andrews said.

The vice chairman said he will propose at the board’s June 26 meeting to restore the industrial technology and the library positions.

Interim Superintendent Michael Wilhelm said he would leave it up to the board to decide. He will be departing at the end of the month.

 

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