SAD 15 OKs $19M budget; voters get final say in June

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NEW GLOUCESTER – The SAD 15 board has approved a $19 million budget for 2006-07 that will go to voters in a June referendum.

By a vote of 9-2, the board endorsed funding additional costs based on increased kindergarten population at $115,932 for two teachers.

Board members James Hutchinson of New Gloucester and Tod Bennett of Gray opposed, saying need for a second kindergarten teacher is yet not certain, but rather projected.

Gray and New Gloucester voters head to the polls on June 13 to decide on the spending package that’s been in the works for months.

The current budget is $18 million.

The proposed budget includes $9 million in state subsidy, which increased by $900,000 this year.

The overall budget also includes funding a full-time literacy teacher at the high school, an elementary school classroom teacher, a gifted and talented teacher and part-time education technician and grounds worker.

New Gloucester’s estimated mill rate in the proposed budget is $6.70 per $1,000 of valuation, a decrease from $7.25. Gray would see an estimated mill rate of $8.60; the current rate is $8.89.

The budget increases money for fuel, contracted agreements and heating oil.

In other business, the board agreed to purchase 354 laptop computers under the state-funded lease buyout option at a cost of $15,992. The computers were issued by the state to SAD 15 seventh- and eighth-grade students nearly four years ago. The state will be replacing them.

The district is considering issuing 180 computers to all ninth-grade students; 20 will be available to sixth-graders.

The iBooks are available at $48 each. The district will consider funding related costs later, including batteries, power supplies and upgraded memory, for example.

In other business, the board applauded Lori Fowler’s Destination Imagination team that is seeking approval to go to the global competition at the University of Tennessee from May 24 to 27. The team placed first in the state meet last month at the high-school level.

Fundraising activities are under way for the seven-member team, coach and chaperones. A spaghetti dinner will be held from 5-7 p.m. on April 27 at the vestry of the New Gloucester Congregational Church.

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