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RSU 10 impacted by state cuts
DIXFIELD -- Facing a loss of $158,000 in state education funds, RSU 10 Supt. Tom Ward outlined measures to deal with a portion of that deficit.
At the board meeting on Jan. 14, Ward noted, "We're still not sure what's going to happen, but there are a number of different ideas being floated out there. We're not sure whether or not the curtailment proposed by the governor will be approved."
The impact by the reduction in funding will affect the RSU between now and the rest of the year. He said they are taking the steps to save money, but noted it will not cover this entire loss.
Ward noting that he started to freeze the budget back in November in certain areas.
The measures include:
* All overtime except for emergencies;
* Prior approval for most supply purchases;
* A ban on course reimbursements for staff, unless the course meets a sequential need;
* Rearranging field trips so students return to school before the end of the school day so additional bus runs are not needed.
"We're going to have to keep on re-evaluating. We still don't know what the legislature is going to do, whether or not they're going to support the cuts to education. Whether or not they're going to come up with some other way to find us finding, but I think it's pretty safe to say that we'll be out $150,000," said Ward.
Gov. Paul LePage cut $12.58 million from General Purpose Aid to Education to help cover a $35 million shortfall in the current budget.
"In the Governor's two-year budget, he's proposing that general purpose aid be funded at the same level with the curtailment, so there will be less money than this year for each of the next two years. Any curtailment is difficult. These are very tough times, and there going to get even tighter," he said.
Ward said they also have to pay attention to what's happening at the federal government level. "We could see a huge curtailment in federal funding between now and the end of the year, not to mention next year. So these are not good times. These are very difficult times and things are probably going to get even tighter."
"There's also the hope at the federal level that they'll get their act together (to the response of laughter by board members). I'm not real hopeful. But let's hope they do. We're going to need some help at the federal level for education if we're going to get through these next couple of years," he said.
Work on the 2013-14 school budget is scheduled to begin at Monday's board meeting at Meroby Elementary School. The current operating budget is $35.1 million, including $17.8 million in state aid.