RSU 16 looking at budget increases

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POLAND — Superintendent Tina Meserve told the RSU 16 School Committee on Monday night that the 2014-15 budget could be more than this year in order to give students the same educational opportunities they now receive.

This year’s budget is $19.3 million.

Meserve said although contracts are still in negotiation, the School Committee should be prepared to consider an additional $250,000 in salary lines and a similar increase for benefits.

She also told the committee that the district should be prepared to lose about $130,000, which will have to be paid for area students attending charter schools.

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The School Committee approved Assistant Superintendent Kim Brandt’s request for money from this year’s budget to pay for a study on constructing a two- or three-bay bus repair garage.

Brandt estimated it would cost between $7,000 and $8,000 to hire architect Bob Howe of HKTA of Portland to prepare a concept design and to secure permits.

Brandt indicated a request to build a garage will likely be in the 2014-15 budget proposal.

A budget is expected to be presented to the School Committee on April 28.

In other business, student representatives to the School Committee, Kylie Martin and Delaney Woodford, told the committee that Poland Regional High School students will participate in WGME-TV’s “School Spirit Challenge” this Friday morning.

“It’s a competition to see what school can raise the most for the Good Shepherd Food-Bank. We’re looking for donations of nonperishable food goods and money. One’s as good as the other,” Martin said.

Woodford said she expected a good number of students to turn out for the spirit celebration. It begins at 5 a.m. at the school, she said, and the TV cameras will pick them up, off and on, until 7 a.m.

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