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RSU 10 budget process delayed
MEXICO -- Monday was supposed to be the time when RSU 10 Supt. Tom Ward began the budget-setting process in part by noting what subsidy figures the district could expect. That didn't happen.
"I usually have those figures to share, but everything is in such a flux,” he said. To suggest what those figures might be, Ward said, "I'd be guessing. Most likely, in a couple weeks, what's proposed will probably change. And hopefully the changes will be for the good. But we'll try to be optimistic.
The 2012-13 budget is $35.1 million, which includes $17.8 million in General Purpose Aid to education.
"What we will be doing with the budget process starting at the next meeting (Feb. 11) is that we'll start with the different buildings and do the reports until we can get some facts and figures and have an idea what we're going to be dealing with," said Ward.
"I am hopeful that the right things will be done, but on the other side, I'm trying to be realistic about the state and federal economies and things have to happen or the towns are going to be in trouble and we're going to be in trouble. And that's not going to be good for our kids," he said.
Board member Barbara Chow asked about the worst-case scenario if the state delays the subsidy to the school districts from June to next fiscal year begins in July. "Would we have to borrow more because we also wait for money for MaineCare, too."
"We're always waiting on the state, the feds, MaineCare, so any delay of a subsidy payment consequently puts us in an even more financial bind," responded Ward, noting that he'll kept the board informed on the financial information as it becomes available.
Although the budget development process may take longer than it usually does, the budget timeline lists budget informational meetings for May 21, in the Buckfield region, May 22 in the Dixfield region, and May 23 in the Rumford region. The budget vote is tentatively set for May 29 at Dirigo High School in Dixfield and the referendum is set for June 11 in the district towns of Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Peru, Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, Byron, Mexico, Roxbury, Rumford and Hanover.
In a related budget matter, Ward said the district is on target for finding ways to cut nearly $160,000 in state aid for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
“It will be tight,” he said.
RSU 10 lost that money as part of a plan by Gov. Paul LePage to fill a $35 million state budget shortfall.
In other business, the board approved a Mountain Valley High School French class trip to Quebec from May 10-12, with students from Dirigo and Buckfield high schools invited as well.
The purpose of the motorcoach trip is for students to experience the culture and practice the French language they have studied.
Resignations include Jane Doucette, Mountain Valley High School Ed. Tech II, who will be retiring at the end of the school year after 25 years.
Also, Sandra Hammond, Mountain Valley Middle School bus driver/custodian, effective immediately after 11.5 years for medical reasons. "We will miss her," noted Ward.
Appointment is Lynn Gould as the MVHS girls' head soccer coach.
New hire is Deb Berman, Nezinscot Region, as a three-fifths speech and language clinician.
Transfer is James Taylor, Dirigo Elementary School Sp. Ed. Ed. Tech III, to MVHS Sp. Ed. Ed. Tech. III.