SAD 36 budget cuts draw praise


Livermore – After reducing the SAD 36 budget for 2005-06 by $202,706, directors have reduced the 2006-07 budget by another $190,679.

The 2004-05 budget was $3,480,321, and now it is $3,086,936 for 2006-07.

“I want to commend the staff and the board who have done an exceptional job,” said Superintendent Terry Despres.

SAD 36 is $2,749 below the Essential Programs and Services level mandated by the state. “This is the amazing part of the budget. You don’t want to be over, but on the other hand, you don’t want to be too far under either,” Despres said.

Although the budget was a major topic of discussion at the school board meeting Thursday night, the main focus was on the “First Comes Learning” program.

“We have expanded our kindergarten classes with a new program for gifted children,” Despres said.

It’s an early-childhood program that works with 4-year olds to bring them to first-grade level. The program was implemented in an all-day kindergarten class and the children will be tracked.

Despres said a report will be forthcoming in three to four weeks and its “phenomenal.”