Gray-New Gloucester school budget action set

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GRAY — Voters in Gray and New Gloucester will take action on the proposed school budget at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Gray-New Gloucester High School cafeteria.

The RSU 15 meeting is the first step toward approving the $19.69 million budget for 2010-11. There are 17 warrant articles.

If voters approve the entire warrant, the next step requires final approval in a districtwide referendum at the polls June 8. The ballot will ask for a simple “yes” or “no” vote.

Superintendent Victoria Burns said in a report that the budget is $649,909 less than this year. Federal stimulus money will be used whenever possible to offset the anticipated revenue losses in 2011-12.

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State subsidy to the district is $1.1 million less than in 2009-10.

Positions cut or reduced in the 2010-11 budget include five teachers at the high school and 1½ education technicians.

At the middle school, two teachers will be eliminated, and elementary schools face the loss of a teacher, a half-time speech therapist and two ed techs.

A principal position at Memorial School in New Gloucester will be eliminated and administrators will take a salary freeze. Custodians, grounds workers and a bus driver will be eliminated, and two activity buses and bus drivers will be eliminated.

A high school assistant principal who will also teach a portion of the day will oversee an expanded alternative education program.

The budget reflects a tax rate hike of 41 cents in New Gloucester and 36 cents in Gray.

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