SAD 39 budget up by $724,409

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BUCKFIELD – The SAD 39 Board of Directors approved Wednesday night a budget of $6,672,361.03 for 2006-07 after adding $50,000 for ongoing teacher negotiations.

The spending package is $724,409 more than this year’s, representing a 12 percent increase.

The three district towns of Buckfield, Hartford and Sumner must raise $1,473,260 in order to get their share of the nearly $4 million in state subsidy for education.

Superintendent Rick Colpitts said much of the increase has to do with the state no longer reimbursing for the cost of school buses, rising fuel costs and furnace and asbestos problems in Hartford-Sumner Elementary School.

No new programs are being added for the coming fiscal year that begins July 1.

According to Colpitts’ figures, the increase to towns for education costs will be $130,941 for Buckfield, $135,799 for Hartford and $97,365 for Sumner.

The tax rates for education, per town, will be: Buckfield $9.68, Hartford $13.81 and Sumner $14.97, all per $1,000 of assessed property value.

The school budget typically accounts for approximately half of the total town budget.

One large issue in the budget is special education. The cost to the district after state reimbursements is $930,874. Of the 610 students in the district, 123, or 20 percent, require special programs. Colpitts said the cost of busing students out of the district can range from $12,000 to $40,000.

The board approved a five-year technology plan with a $40,000 line item next year for new equipment, including projectors and laptops for grades nine and 10.

A hearing on the budget followed by a vote will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14, at the Buckfield Junior/Senior High School.

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