Although four area school districts stand to lose nearly a half-million dollars because of state’s budget cuts, most aren’t concerned about layoffs.

SADs 21, 43, 44 and 39 began curbing their spending weeks ago, from what one superintendent described as going from a light frost to a deep freeze.

“We put a freeze on our budget in early November and we were nervous,” SAD 39 Superintendent Rick Colpitts said. The district includes Buckfield, Hartford and Sumner

He said a freeze means purchase orders aren’t processed unless dire circumstances arise. Some things that could be eliminated under the freeze include field trips and extra text books. Other savings can include utilities, diesel fuel.

His district is losing just under $60,000 in state aid, but he believes it will be OK because it generally ends a school year with a surplus.

In SAD 21, Superintendent Tom Ward said the loss of just over $69,000 from the state will also be all right because the district didn’t lock in fuel costs and most accounts are frozen. The district includes Dixfield, Canton, Carthage and Peru.

SAD 43 in Rumford and SAD 44 Bethel are losing greater amounts from the state.

In SAD 43, that figure is almost $197,000. Superintendent Jim Hodgkin said the district froze spending more than a month ago, and he doesn’t expect any further cuts this year. SADs 21 and 43 had each eliminated nearly a dozen positions at the end of the last school year.

“We’re pretty lucky and we’re hoping that’s the end of it,” he said.

SAD 43 also includes Byron, Mexico and Roxbury.

Superintendent David Murphy of SAD 44 said his board hasn’t come up with specifics to deal with the effects of state budget cuts. They meet on Monday and will likely deal with it then.

He heads up the district that includes Andover, Greenwood, Newry and Woodstock.

The state, with its cutbacks in virtually every department, announced an overall reduction in education funds of $27 million. Those cuts must be approved by the Legislature, Ward said. If the educational cuts aren’t approved for the current year, then they would be reduced for school year 2009-10.


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