Plumbing program re-instated, assistant principal’s job to be revamped

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LIVERMORE FALLS — Regional School Unit 36 directors voted Tuesday to add $11,000 to the proposed budget to reinstate the plumbing program for high school students.

The program was recommended to be eliminated in the first draft of the budget.

Superintendent Judith Harvey had previously said that Tim Madden of Livermore, a representative of Ranor Inc. in Jay, asked that the board put in $5,000 toward the program. He planned to ask Jay for $5,000 as well and to try to raise $6,000 privately to keep the program operating.

However, Jay School Committee had already voted to propose a $9 million budget for 2010-11 for its school system to go to voters on Tuesday, June 1 vote in that town.

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Director Denise Rodzen suggested that the additional $11,000 be added to the budget in case Madden cannot raise the money.

If he does raise the money, she said, then the additional money could go into the district’s contingency fund.

Several directors spoke in favor of the program saying it served a sector of students, and gives the school system the type of course trade that industries are requesting.

The plumbing program is sponsored in a joint effort between Ranor, Jay School Department and RSU 36 in the Livermore and Livermore Falls area.

Ranor provides the master plumbing instructor for the class at its own expense.

Livermore Falls High School Principal Shawn Lambert said that for the last couple of years, Jay has provided the space for the program at Jay High School because of space crunches at Livermore Falls High School.

The bottom line of the budget will be known after all changes are made, Harvey said after the meeting.

The board conceptually agreed to about a $9 million budget last week but nearly all members said they had questions, and wanted to meet again to discuss them, Harvey said Friday.

The budget decisions followed several nonbinding votes taken at previous workshops.

A final vote on the proposed 2010-11 budget is expected to take place at 6 p.m., Thursday, April 15, at the middle school.

Chairman Ashley O’Brien read a list of answers to questions board members had asked of the superintendent or other department heads.

Those answers prompted questions from board members.

Director Jennifer Pooler voiced concern over discussions on things the board had already voted on, Pooler said. “We’re going around in circles.”

Chairman Ashley O’Brien agreed with her.

Questions continued from members of the board until no one asked anymore.

Among the items discussed, the board left a part-time nurse in the budget and discussed pay-to play for high school sports but took no action.

Director Ann Souther voiced her frustration over more people speaking during the budget process, in favor of keeping sports rather than being concerned about teachers and students’ education.

“I am not anti-sports but it’s not your education,” Souther said. “You want to keep your sports and get rid of your teachers. Wake up, you’re losing your education.”

In other board action, directors voted 2 to 11, defeating a motion to keep the assistant-principal/athletic-director position, with Pooler and Haynes in favor of keeping it the way it was proposed.

In a second vote, however, directors voted 11 to 1 to 1, with Pooler opposed and Haynes abstaining, to create an assistant-principal position or dean-of-students position with an assistant-principal certification and a salary more in line with assistant principals or deans at other schools across the state.

The board voted unanimously to keep the existing stipend of $12,000 for the head of coaches position currently held by Sally Boivin.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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