DIXFIELD — RSU 10 Superintendent Tom Ward said Tuesday that he expects the 12 member towns will have to pay a larger percentage of school cost in the coming fiscal year.
“The bottom line is that we’ve had the same budget for four years. We’re going to have to come to the communities for some type of increase,” he said.
The current budget is $34.2 million. The fiscal year 2012-13 will be the fourth since the formation of Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10.
During the past three budget years, 27 full-time equivalent positions have been eliminated, primarily due to attrition and retirements.
Ward said the district is offering another retirement incentive for those who meet age and number of years worked in the region requirements. So far, only one teacher has taken advantage of the incentive. Staff has until April 15 to decide whether to retire at the end of this school year.
“The good news for the school district is that the overall state valuation for RSU 10 towns has remained flat,” he said.
As each staff member resigns or retires, the position will be evaluated to determine whether someone should be hired to fill it.
During the past few years, all programs have remained, although sometimes with fewer staff to lead them.
Factors figuring into the upcoming budget development process include:
* 2011-12 was the last year that carryover funds were applied to the budget. These funds came from the merging of the three former SADs into RSU 10.
* The amount of general purpose aid to education will not be known precisely until next month.
* 2012-13 will be the first of five years for a change in formula for raising additional local funds. It assigns each town’s dollar amount according to the valuation of the town at 75 percent and number of students at 25 percent.
The initial budget overview takes place at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Meroby Elementary School in Mexico. Budget requests will be presented at board meetings in February and March. A proposed budget for the district is expected in April, public hearings in each of the three regions in May, and public votes in late May and early June.