June 07, 2020
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Caribou RSU fears staffing reductions

CARIBOU, Maine — Budget cuts because of a loss in state funding to Eastern Aroostook RSU will affect staffing, Superintendent Frank McElwain said Thursday, but officials will try to keep the number to a minimum.

“We have been cut $638,435 from the state over last year,” McElwain said. “It’s a big number.”

RSU 39 consists of six schools in Caribou, Limestone and Stockholm.

State aid figures were released earlier this month. School districts across Maine are expected to see an overall $92 million drop in state aid that stems from recession-related revenue losses.

The funding proposal still must be approved by the Legislature.

This is the second year that the collective has received funding as an RSU. Since it complied with the school consolidation law it was not penalized for noncompliance as were some other school systems.

McElwain said he has provided the state aid figures and other financial information to the RSU’s finance committee.

“I am not sure what cuts we will have to make at this point,” he said Thursday. “This is going to affect staffing. This is too big a number to deal with without cutting staff. We are going to do as much as possible to make sure that these cuts have as little impact as possible on our students and the quality of education that we provide here.”

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