Heads to polls June 11

Voters support RSU 40 budget

By Beth A. Birmingham | May 15, 2019
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham

Waldoboro — More than 60 residents from the five towns served by Regional School Unit 40 were in attendance at the district budget meeting May 14 at Medomak Valley High School.

According to Superintendent Steve Nolan, each of the articles passed as presented.

The Board of Directors had unanimously approved a 5.7 percent budget hike for fiscal year 2019-2020 on April 4.

Nolan explained that most of the new expenditures come from additions to the special education categories, which amount to nearly $400,000, and adjusting the substitute pay from $75 to between $90 and $100 per day in order to keep up with wages in other districts.

Nolan said that although the number of special education students is increasing, it is the growing needs of the students that is pushing up the budget. He explained that because the district is trying to follow the Individuals with Disabilities Act, which has never been fully funded by the state, the district is picking up the cost locally to meet the student needs it is required to meet.

Also in the proposed budget is a list of identified maintenance needs across the district totaling $193,889.

Nolan said he had noticed that each year the district comes up short on transportation costs -- around $230,000, and this year various items were looked at and monies found, which it is hoped will bring that overage under control.

One high-cost item is health insurance, which this year increased 6.7 percent.

The cost-sharing formula, which is figured using property assessments and student enrollment per town, is always important to the sending towns.

Union and Warren have the greatest increases in student enrollments, as well as increased property values, which means they will contribute more than the other three towns.

The increased impact per town is proposed as follows:

-- Waldoboro, up $223,330 or 3.78 percent

-- Washington, up $66,737 or 3.90 percent

-- Union, up $162,766 or 6.71 percent

-- Warren, up $287,546 or 6.36 percent

-- Friendship, up $112,095 or 5.45 percent

The district is projected to receive more than $1,000,000 in additional state subsidy this year, which will help eliminate the usual balance forward, which Nolan sees as an important fix for the budget.

"Overall, it was a great success and a clear indication that our community supports our public schools," Nolan said May 15.

Anyone interested in further details of the budget can visit the district's website.

The adopted budget of $29,202,948 will now go before the residents of the five towns at the polls Tuesday, June 11.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

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