HOLDEN, Maine — Residents of the RSU 63 member towns of Holden, Eddington and Clifton will get their first look at the proposed $9.7 million education budget during a public hearing on Wednesday.
During the hearing, set for 6:30 p.m. at Holbrook Middle School, school officials will present their 2015-16 spending plan, which reflects an overall increase of $217,676, or 2.28 percent, from this year, district budget manager Kelly Theriault said Monday afternoon.
Among the factors that came into play while developing next year’s budget was the loss of $183,315, or just over 4 percent, in state funding.
School officials used $185,000 from the district’s undesignated fund balance to help offset the budget increase and state funding loss, Theriault noted in a budget overview.
The budget includes about $113,000 in income from transportation sources, special education tuition, curriculum services to another school and miscellaneous refunds.
Among the cost increases the district is obligated to fund are contracted raises for staff, workers’ compensation insurance, electricity and tuition for high school students as well as its part of the AOS 81 budget, which is shared with Community School District 8’s member towns of Amherst, Aurora, Great Pond and Osborn.
Other increases relate to additional hours for the library education tech, new textbooks, the restoration of funding for an athletic director and co-curricular programs, a new school bus, gifted and talented training, stipends for teachers who must travel among district buildings, a long-range planning consultant and an addition to the contingency fund.
Cuts included a 0.6 reduction for speech therapy, the elimination of two teachers and an education tech at the elementary level, one fewer out-of-district special education placement, changes to high school bus runs that will save about $13,000 and reductions to the budget lines for substitute teachers and heating oil.
Theriault said Holden’s share of the proposed school budget works out to $2,753,970 — up $67,946 from this year.
Eddington’s portion amounts to $1,665,748, $62,654 more than this year, while Clifton’s $729,445 share reflects a $14,511 increase.
District residents will be asked to approve the budget during the annual district business meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at Holbrook Middle School, and again at the polls on Tuesday, June 9, in school budget validation referendums in each member town, Theriault said.