SAD 15 OKs warrants for district budget meeting

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GRAY — Directors of SAD 15 signed warrants Wednesday to begin the process of adopting a 2010-11 budget for Gray and New Gloucester schools.

The first step will be a district budget meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 27, at Gray-New Gloucester High School.

Voters will be asked to approve 19 warrant articles that pave the way, once approved, for a referendum at the polls on June 8.

The budget of $19.69 million would fund the district’s essential programs and services, non-state-funded school construction projects and additional local funds.

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The district is seeking to raise $1.02 million in additional local funds above the state funding formula. The extra money would pay for maintaining acceptable class sizes, co-curricular and extracurricular programs and special needs education.

To get state funding, towns must raise local shares, as calculated by the funding formula. Gray’s share is $6.39 million and New Gloucester’s is $3.56 million. There are roughly 2,000 students in SAD 15.

Voters in a separate warrant article will be asked to appropriate $110,254 for adult education and raise $56,000 as the local share.

Another article seeks approval of $11,292 to fund custodial and utility costs to allow the high and middle schools to be open for community use on Sundays during the school year.

SAD 15 lost roughly $1 million of state subsidy due to state and national financial instability.

Stimulus funds from the federal government of $735,777 must be spent on one-time purchases and not be used for ongoing programs. A principal slot would be eliminated and a high school assistant principal would be re-allocated as a teaching principal with the Alternative Program. Salaries for administrators would be frozen at the 2009-10-pay rate.

In addition, the director of Finance and Operations and the director of Curriculum and Staff Development would use furlough days.

There would be a district-wide reduction of force .

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