The Budget Committee of the Maine School Administrative District 40 School Board is getting close to a vote on the proposed $20.87 million budget for the 2011 fiscal year.

The committee will hold an informational session on the budget Tuesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. at Medomak Valley High School in the Ronald E. Dolloff Auditorium. The committee, which includes all school board members, is expected to vote to send the budget to the SAD 40 School Board. The board will meet Wednesday, March 31 at 7 p.m. at Medomak Middle School. The board is scheduled to vote on whether to adopt the budget.

The Budget Committee set that timetable at a meeting and informational session March 25 at Medomak Valley.

The proposed budget for 2011 was first presented Feb. 2. Months earlier, the school board directed district administrators to prepare a budget that did not increase expenses. The initial budget called for combining several elementary school classrooms and cutting the positions of eight grade-level teachers.

In the weeks since, the district has been told it will receive $237,000 more in state aid. With the additional money, the revised budget calls for fewer teacher cuts and does not include combining any classrooms. The current proposed budget would cut three elementary teacher positions and a position in the art department at Medomak Valley. It would also cut a half-time administrator position and a full-time administrative assistant. The proposed budget of $20,871,026 is down $92,932 from the current year.

At the March 25 meeting, the major vote on the budget concerned the use of the district’s fund balance. Budget Committee members voted to change the amount of fund balance dollars in the budget from $375,000 to $275,000. Committee members said this would put the district in a better position next year, and could be useful if the state announces a funding curtailment in the summer.

The March 25 meeting also included details about how the district would use about $600,000 in federal stabilization funds from the stimulus bill. Projects include roof replacement on the north wing of the high school ($200,000), re-roofing the Friendship Village School with asphalt shingles (84,000), funding half the laptop program ($75,000), re-shingling the main building at Prescott Memorial School ($40,000), and replacing windows in the cafe and library at the Warren Community School ($23,500).

The school district is still seeking input on the proposed budget, and will hear comments  and answer questions at the March 30 informational session at the high school. The budget process will also include a regional budget meeting where residents of Friendship, Union, Waldoboro, Warren and Washington will vote on the warrant articles that comprise the budget. Following that meeting, residents will go to the polls on June 8 to vote yes or no on the budget.