Voters increase proposed $9 million budget by nearly $60,000

JAY — Residents voted Tuesday to increase the proposed kindergarten through 12th grade budget by nearly $60,000 bringing it to $9.12 million for 2010-11.

Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

Jay ballot clerks Rita Farrington, left, and Winnie Shink, right, count ballots Tuesday on Article 14 of the school budget warrant. Voters boosted the proposed budget by nearly $60,000. Town attorney Stephen Langsdorf looks on behind Shink.

The additional money is intended to restore education technician hours from initial proposals 5.5 hours to 6 hours to full time and provide insurance.

Residents encouraged school officials to put the money where it is intended but said they understood officials are not obligated to do so.

The spending plan, which represents a $629,728.46 decrease from the current budget, will go before voters on Tuesday, June 8, to be validated in a yes or no referendum vote. The polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Community Building that day. Even though the budget is down, it will still reflect an increase to taxpayers due to loss of state education revenue.

Nearly 50 residents turned out for vote. Voters authorized the municipality to issue bonds or notes for up $770,000 for up to 15 years to repair and replace school roofs. The primary goal is to replace the 40-year-old high school roof, which includes the dome over the gymnasium and other parts of the school, but is not limited to that, buildings and grounds Supervisor Sue Weston said. The yearly principal payment on a bond would be about $51,132, Business Manager Stacie Lowe said after the meeting. The first payment for the bond would be due in the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Voters also agreed to raise and appropriate $40,000 for adult education to help people who lost jobs, as recommended by the Budget Committee. School Committee members had voted not to recommend approval of the amount with a couple members saying that if there was an additional $40,000 to spend, it should go into the K-12 budget.

Residents also went against the School Committee’s proposals in split votes to authorize spending more for regular instruction, special education and student and staff support.

The intent was to restore the educational technicians hours and eligibility for health insurance.

The School Committee’s proposal was to spend $3.71 million for regular education. Voters decided 35-4 to raise that amount by nearly $19,000, bringing it to $3.72 million.

Budget Committee member April Hartford said that administrators had said, when asked, the thing they most regretted about the proposed budget was losing educational technicians. The technicians work with children who need them the most, Hartford said, including those who need special services.

The Budget Committee, which had recommended the initial amount, found out after that in order to restore money for education technicians they needed to do it in three different articles, she said.

The Budget Committee initially recommended a no vote on a proposed $1.04 million for special education with the intent to raise the amount in the article for ed techs in Tuesday’s vote, Hartford said.

Several others also spoke in favor of keeping the ed techs hours as they currently are to support students and teachers.

In a 35-6 vote residents raised the amount to spend on special education by nearly $35,000 bringing it to $1.07 million.

Residents also voted 37-5 to raise the amount to spend for student and staff support by about $7,000 to bring it to $897,050.49.

Voters also approved by a 41-5 secret ballot vote, as required by law, to raise and appropriate $1.18 million in additional local funds, which exceeds the state’s essential programs and services allocation model by $1.01 million.

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Looks like many people in the Jay school district must to have won a jackpot. They certainly are not thinking of the many people who live on Social Security or the many residents who still are looking for work. For the number of children in the schools, this amount of money is crazy. Hopefully some people who do not agree with this budget will get out and vote this down.


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