RSU 36 budget cuts staff, administration

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LIVERMORE FALLS – The Regional School Unit 36’s proposed 2010-11 budget of $9 million would decrease staff and programs, and eliminate middle school athletics.

The proposal is $422,980, or 4.48 percent less than the current budget, according to Superintendent Judith Harvey’s letter in the budget packet. She is away from the office this week.

The budget figure of $9,003,545 does not factor in the $80,000 for local contribution for adult education. The portion of the budget funded by the local property tax assessment equals about $3.5 million, an increase of $9,282, Harvey’s information states. It shows Livermore paying .62 percent more and Livermore Falls paying .11 percent less.

School board members will hold their first budget workshop at 6 p.m. Monday, March 15, at the Livermore Elementary School cafeteria.

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Harvey told school directors last month to remember this is only a draft and concerns could be discussed.

To say developing a budget for next year was a challenge would be an understatement, Harvey said.

“The significant loss in state subsidy, or nearly $693,577 from the 2009-10 school year, is not easily absorbed through an already lean budget, and you will see that many difficult decisions had to be made,” she said in her letter.

The sum of $173,517 in the state subsidy loss is attributable to the penalty for not consolidating with another school district, she said.

The budget was drafted through a collaborative process with the district’s administrative team.

The goal of the team has been consistently to affect as few students as possible, she said.

Among the positions proposed for elimination are:

• Half-time assistant superintendent position.

• High and elementary schools assistant principal positions.

• Six teaching positions: three at middle school, two at elementary school, one at high school.

• Half-time curriculum coordinator position.

• Two secretary positions, one each at high and middle schools.

• Kindergarten through eighth grade teams, decrease grades nine through 12 teams.

Other cuts proposed are:

• Middle school athletic programs

• Plumbing program at high school.

• Head Start bus run.

• Reduction of one, 30-hour bus run.

• Reduction of one, 20-hour custodial position.

• Technology equipment.

• Contracted services.

• Major projects.

• Accreditation expenses.

• Minor classroom equipment, books.

• Contingency accounts.

• Co-curricular field trips (all field trips have been eliminated from general fund budget).

Increases in the budget include:

• Half-time nurse at elementary school.

• Half-time computer support staff position to full time.

• School board expenses.

• Bus lease principal.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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