SEARSPORT, Maine — The assistant principal of Sumner Memorial High School was chosen Tuesday night by the RSU 20 board to be the new superintendent for the nine-town midcoast school district.
Brian Carpenter, who has worked since November at the Sullivan high school, previously served as assistant superintendent for Calais-based Alternative Organizational Structure 77. He will replace outgoing Superintendent Bruce Mailloux, who will retire on June 30 after more than five years at the helm of the school district.
In other business, the board of directors discussed the budget for the next fiscal year. A budget worksheet discussed at the meeting showed that the district’s towns are likely to pay the price for a minimum $1.4 million drop in state and federal revenues.
With that shortfall, and a spending proposal that is $1.5 million above the last fiscal year, the towns would be faced with an average local school tax increase of 14.8 percent.
But the amount would range from an 8.6 percent local school tax increase in Morrill to a 24.3 percent increase in Searsport.
Belfast, which pays the largest share of taxes for schools, would see a 10 percent jump, according to the budget worksheet.
“That took my breath away, when I read that number,” Director Gerald Reid of Northport said. “I, for one, will never recommend that. I, for one, will never vote for that.”
Reid, chairman of the RSU 20 finance committee, spoke during a brief presentation before the board began discussions of the next step to take in the budget process.
“I urge the board to make the difficult choices this year, and not wait for another year,” he said, urging fiscal responsibility. “We’ve got to stop the mentality that everything we’re doing is essential and necessary and right. The school district needs to do a few less things.”
After discussion, the board of directors voted to have the administration create a revised, $32.8 million flat-funded budget for the next fiscal year.
The spending reductions for the revised budget will come from reduction of teaching staff through class size increases, additional reductions of nonteaching staff, closure of offices and reduction of building operating costs. Music, art, physical education, libraries, teacher support staff, books and instructional supplies will not be affected, according to the motion passed by the board of directors.