Cuts in RSU 9 supplies, other areas help cover subsidy curtailment

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FARMINGTON — RSU 9 Superintendent Mike Cormier said the school district will be OK after making cuts to cover the loss of about $135,000 in state education subsidy.

It represents a o.5 percent drop from the $18,217, 161.81 it was to get.

The district budget for this fiscal year is $28.9 million.

The state has a shortfall of $35 million and Gov. Paul LePage has ordered a curtailment of $12.5 million in General Purpose Aid to education.

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Cormier put a freeze on supplies early on in the process. Unless it is a necessity for instruction, spending requests are not being approved, he told the school board Tuesday.

Supplies are a big part of the Foster Career and Technology Education Center. The center is using money from its vocation fund — money raised by doing work such as fixing a car or selling items — before requesting district funding, Cormier said.

So far, they are close to $100,000 to factor into the curtailment basically coming out of supplies and other accounts, he said.

Cormier and his team looked at a place where there should have been areas to cut in professional dues and fees in the Board of Directors account but due to the ongoing superintendent search, Cormier said, it was left alone.

It is unknown what the cost will be to find a superintendent to meet the district’s needs. Cormier is retiring at the end of the school year. The school board reopened the superintendent search last month to try to get a larger pool of candidates. Maine School Management Association is helping the board with its search.

“I think we’re going to be OK,” Cormier said.

Money was taken from substitute accounts to cover the $60,000 the district was short from the beginning, he said.

The school board nixed a proposal to contract for custodial services. The savings had been factored into the proposed budget.

Cormier told the board that the balances left in each account at the end of the year are getting smaller each year.

The district is slated to begin budget talks for 2013-14 in February. The hope is to have a proposed budget to the school board to begin work on it by the end of March or early April.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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