PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — For the first time in five years, SAD 1 will see an increase in state aid, which is good news as the district heads into the final stages of the budget season.
According to business manager Charles Anderson, the district will receive an additional $194,855 in state funding.
“That’s mostly due to our enrollment increasing by nine students,” he said. “For many years our enrollment was in decline, but with an increase in students this year comes an increase in state revenue. More kids equals more money.”
The proposed 2014-15 budget is $24,008,863, an increase of $798,714, or about 3 percent.
Superintendent Gehrig Johnson said the increase represents cost-of-living adjustments for all employee groups, as well as the absorption of a 9.5 percent increase in Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield medical insurance premiums.
“In adjusting for enrollment changes,” said Johnson, “we have made two employee reductions; however, through attrition, no one will lose their job. In the five previous years, 46 positions were eliminated, so we’re very fortunate that we’re not in that position this year.
“This budget is pretty straightforward,” he said. “There are no new costs — it merely moves the district forward intact for another year. While the budget is up about 3 percent, taxes are down in the SAD 1 fiscal year by $94,762 districtwide.”
District budget approval is a two-step process. In addition to a districtwide budget meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, at the Presque Isle High School cafeteria, the district is required to hold a budget validation referendum in each of the district’s five municipalities. The validation referendum will be held June 10.