RSU 10 delays start of budget development

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MEXICO — RSU 10 Superintendent Tom Ward told the board Monday night that the budget-setting process is delayed because of many uncertainties facing school districts across the state.

“Everything is in such a flux,” he said. “I am hopeful that great things will be done, but realistically, with the state and federal governments (as they are), it won’t be good for our kids,” he said.

“If I give facts and figures now, they could be wrong,” he said.

The 2012-13 budget is $35.1 million, which includes $17.8 million in General Purpose Aid to education.

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Ward also warned of the possible impact of a proposal by the state to delay paying school districts their June subsidy to July.

“Any delay in budget payments puts us more in a financial bind,” he said.

Despite the uncertainty on the amount of money RSU 10 may have to work with, Ward said the board will begin listening to presentations and needs from principals of Rumford, Meroby, Dirigo and Hartford-Sumner elementary schools at the next board meeting Feb. 11.

Although the budget development process may take longer than it usually does, the budget timeline lists budget informational meetings for May 21, in the Buckfield region, May 22 in the Dixfield region, and May 23 in the Rumford region. The budget vote is tentatively set for May 29 at Dirigo High School in Dixfield and the referendum is set for June 11 in the district towns of Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Peru, Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, Byron, Mexico, Roxbury, Rumford and Hanover.

In another budget matter, Ward said the district is on target for finding ways to cut nearly $160,000 in state aid for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

“It will be tight,” he said.

RSU 10 lost that money as part of a plan by Gov. Paul LePage to fill a $35 million state budget shortfall.

In other matters Monday, the board accepted the resignation of Mountain Valley High School educational technician Jane Doucette, who is retiring after 25 years.

They also accepted the resignation of Mountain Valley Middle School bus driver/custodian Sandra Hammond. She has worked for the district for more than 11 years and is leaving for personal reasons.

Lynn Gould was appointed as head coach of the high school girls team, and Deb Berman was hired as a three-fifths time speech and language clinician for the Buckfield region.

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