LEWISTON — The proposed school budget for Lewiston schools, as recommended by Superintendent Bill Webster, would increase property taxes 8.4 percent.
That kind of hike is hefty for Lewiston, which often passes budgets that do not increase property taxes.
Webster will present the budget during a public Lewiston School Committee at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the Dingley Building. It will be the first of six budget meetings before the committee is scheduled to adopt the budget April 4.
The school budget for the fiscal year which begins July 1 would go from $54.5 million to $58.5 million. Meanwhile enrollment is expected to grow 150 students in the next year, from 5,139 to 5,323.
Reasons for the higher budget include the first annual bond payment for a refurbished, larger Lewiston Middle School approved by voters last summer, cuts in state funding to education, and hiring more teachers to slightly reduce class sizes.
The higher costs to property taxpayers will “raise some eyebrows,” Webster said. “The city of Lewiston has some decisions to make. We have a series of budget meetings coming up, I encourage public participation. We've got to decide what we're going to continue doing to meet our mission of our schools, what we're going to cut in order to have a program we can afford.”
A full story with more details is published in Wednesday's Sun Journal and is available online at lewistonschoolbudget030613.