BETHEL – The SAD 44 board heard presentations on three possible budget scenarios Monday night, none of them particularly palatable, and all of them requiring some form of cutback.

The five-town district is anticipating a loss of $680,000 in state aid for 2009-10.

Superintendent David Murphy said one option presented by the Finance Committee is a budget of $10.25 million, the same as this year. It would mean Andover would pay 4 percent more, Bethel almost 12 percent more, Greenwood almost 14 percent more, Newry about 11 percent more, and Woodstock almost 10 percent more.

Another scenario calls for a $500,000 decrease in spending from this year. That drop would necessitate eliminating four teaching positions, two educational technicians, a late bus run and a transportation position. There would also be nearly $100,000 less for supplies and other equipment, and a reduction in the capital improvement account.

It would see Andover paying 3.5 percent less, Greenwood 6 percent more, Bethel almost 4 percent more, Greenwood almost 6 percent more, Newry over 3 percent more, and Woodstock almost 2 percent more.

Murphy said the Finance Committee plans to meet several times between now and the next school board meeting April 27. A recommendation will be made then or at the May 11 meeting.

“None of these scenarios is recommended. Each could change,” he said.

All five towns received higher state valuations, resulting in less state money for education. Also, the $680,000 figure includes a penalty from the state for not partnering with another district as has been mandated under state law.

Murphy said if the state forgives the $180,000 penalty, then the bottom line would change.

In other matters Monday, Murphy said Tim O’Connor, the current Telstar High School industrial arts teacher, was hired as the half-time school-to-work coordinator. He will continue to teach industrial arts half time as well.


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