School administrators unveiled a $27.5 million proposed 2013-2014 budget for Regional School Unit 13 on April 1, that shows a $1 million increase over the previous budget.

That is up 4 percent, and the rise is caused by cuts in state funding for schools. Despite the planned increase in spending, the proposed budget cuts about 14 positions, some entirely and some in part, to save $662,806.

Superintendent Lewis Collins and Business Manager Scott Vaitones presented the budget to the school board during a workshop at the McLain School Building. More budget workshops are planned for April 3, April 8, and April 10, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the McLain School.

Collins noted that 80 percent of the budget is wrapped up in salaries and benefits.

"We're in the people business," Vaitones said April 2. The school budget is mostly salaries for teachers, ed techs, administrators and support staff.

The property tax impact for the district is about $1 million, or 4 percent, but administrators said they do not yet have that calculated in terms of what each town in the district will pay in property taxes.

The problem is the Maine Department of Education has not shared with the school districts the separate valuations for the towns, which are needed to determine the property taxes to be paid by the towns. The state released the same information by February last year. School administrators believe the education department has been told not to release the information this year for political reasons related to the governor's proposed budget, Vaitones said.

The business manager cautioned communities against dividing the increase equally among towns and seeing it is an across-the-board 4 percent increase. Some towns will pay a higher percentage of the increase than others.

The proposed budget adds some positions mostly in special education. The positions being added total $200,528 compared to the $662,806 being cut.

The budget also includes $113,353 in proposed school safety enhancements including increased video surveillance, a photo badge system and door locking systems.

Breakdown of staff cuts

Most of the cuts come from Rockland schools. They are as follows:

Oceanside High School East

  • One resource room teacher for special education
  • One social studies teacher
  • One art teacher
  • One half of an instructional technology teacher

Oceanside High School West

  • One social studies teacher
  • An interventionist teacher is being limited to part-time

St. George

  • One classroom teacher
  • One half of a resource room position for special education

Rockland District Middle School

  • One classroom teacher
  • One resource room teacher for special education
  • Half an assistant principal position

South School

  • One third-grade teacher
  • One first-grade teacher
  • Combine librarian and technology integrator

Courier Publications News Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at ddunkle@courierpublicationsllc.com or 594-4401 ext. 122.