LIVERMORE FALLS – Voters passed all 17 articles pertaining to a $9.4 million school budget on Thursday night, interim Assistant Superintendent David Bois said Friday.

The next step for the 2009-10 budget is a yes or no validation referendum June 9. Polls in Livermore will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town office and in Livermore Falls from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town office.

The budget represents an increase of $276,787 over the current $9.2 million budget. The increase is mostly attributed to a $165,000 state penalty for voters in Livermore and Livermore Falls rejecting consolidation with the neighboring Jay school system. Jay voters also rejected consolidation.

Also included in the increase is $100,000 for the Progressive Learning Institute program for students who have dropped out of school, are between the ages of 16 and 20 and want to get a high school diploma. The program is also in the middle school to help keep students engaged in school.

Only one article required a written ballot during Thursday’s districtwide budget meeting.

Residents of Livermore and Livermore Falls voted 27-0 to raise and appropriate $699,019 in additional local funds, which is $495,554 more than the state essential programs and services funding model recommends.

The funds are necessary to provide for the costs that are not fully recognized by the state and to meet expenses in the areas of special education, leadership and transportation.

Part of that money is for transportation services to athletic events, Bois said.

Under the state’s funding model, only transportation to and from school is covered, he said.

“It’s a good budget given the economical times,” Bois said. “I think it’s fiscally responsible, and it maintains existing programs.”

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