AUBURN — Voters Tuesday will decide the proposed Auburn school budget for 2017-18.
They will be asked if they approve the Auburn School budget, as well as a second, non-binding question if whether voters think the budget is too high, acceptable or too low.
Highlights of the budget are:
The proposed budget is $41.75 million, up from $40.74 million, a 2.48 percent increase.
How much more will the budget cost Auburn taxpayers?
For a homeowner with a property valued at $150,000, the increase will be about $108, or a 72 cent increase to the mill rate.
However, the state budget has not yet been passed. If more money is provided for education than what Gov. Paul LePage has proposed, which is expected, 100 percent of the money would go to reduce Auburn property taxes, Superintendent Katy Grondin said.
Why is the budget higher?
The budget is higher to cover staff salary increases and rising health insurance. The budget also includes new spending for a Title I teacher, a Title II teacher and part-time high school credit recovery teacher, positions which are not new but were once covered by federal money. Added positions are an elementary teacher at Fairview Elementary to reduce class size, a special ed teacher at Park Avenue Elementary to reduce caseloads, and an ed tech to support behavior interventions districtwide.
The governor’s proposed budget cut administrative costs from the state formula, which means Auburn has $800,000 less than last year, Grondin said.
What does this budget do?
The budget maintains programs and student services.
“We’re adding a little,” Grondin has said. “We know there’s a balance to the taxpayer and to our needs.”
The School Department proposed a budget that it hopes they community will conclude is reasonable, Grondin said.
Auburn Public Schools have a student population of more than 3,600, with grades from prekindergarten-12 in 10 schools.
What does Auburn spend per student?
Auburn’s per-pupil spending is $10,322; Lewiston’s is $10,951; and Portland’s is $13,011. The statewide per-pupil spending average is $12,551.
• 84 Edward Little High School students in the Class of 2017 completed 287 college courses, such as early college, before graduating from high school.
• Many athletic teams made it to the playoffs; the outdoors girls track team were KVAC champions for a second year in a row.
• Edward Little High School is accredited. Graduates are accepted to a number of colleges, including the University of Maine, Bates College, Colby College, the University of New Hampshire, Wheaton College, Central Maine Community College, the University of Vermont, St. Joseph’s College of Maine and other educational institutions.
Voting will be held at the city’s regular five voting polls:
• Ward 1, Washburn School;
• Ward 2, Auburn Middle School;
• Ward 3, Fairview School;
• Ward 4, Auburn Hall; and
• Ward 5, Sherwood Heights Elementary School.
Voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.