DIXFIELD — A proposal to eliminate 10 teaching and 10 educational technician positions was revealed at Monday’s Western Foothills Regional Unit 10 board meeting.
Those cuts would represent a significant step toward keeping the current operating budget for 2010-11 at this year’s level of $34.1 million, said Superintendent Tom Ward.
Specific position cuts were not provided.
However, cuts to planned textbooks and technology hardware purchases, as well as reductions in previously anticipated building maintenance, were mentioned, adding up to a total of about $1.675 million.
Helping to reduce an operating budget is the already announced retirement of about 10 teachers, and the anticipated retirements of at least four more.
The board approved a retirement incentive package that would pay eligible retirees $5,000 per year for three years, which is a period of time intended to help pay medical insurance.
Those who may take part in the retirement incentive must be at least 60 or 62 years old.
“This is geared toward those people who are thinking of retirement but are concerned about medical insurance,” Ward said. “We have a number of people who are seriously looking into it.”
The deadline for submitting such intentions is Friday, said Ward.
He said the district would save about $80,000 if four eligible employees took advantage of the offer.
Whether those positions must be filled is not known at this time, although he did say he expects that many will be.
He also said that the current offer is a one time thing for this year.
However, he said the district stands to lose more than the nearly $600,000 it will lose in 2010-11, during the next budget year, because of the end of federal stimulus money.
Any positions eliminated this year aren’t likely to be reinstated anytime soon, he said.
The board will take another look at a proposed budget, including possible further staffing cuts to administration or support services at its next meeting on April 26. A final figure will be adopted at a special May 3 board meeting for presentation to voters at the June 8 referendum.
In other matters on Monday, the board:
• Delayed action to establish a centrally located alternative education site for all alternative students until further details can be worked out for an agreement with the town of Peru.
• Approved a five-day trip for 13 Buckfield Junior-Senior High School students to College Park, Md,, to compete in the National History Day competition.
• Approved dismissal of Mountain Valley High School students at noon on April 30, May 14 and May 28 so that accreditation committees may begin their work.