DIXFIELD — For the first time since the creation of Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10 on July 1, a full board is in place.

The 16 board members welcomed Denise Carrier of Roxbury. Carrier is a former Dixfield police officer and a current juvenile community corrections officer for the state.

The appointment of Carrier comes as the board begins developing an operating budget for fiscal year 2010-11.

Superintendent Tom Ward said he expects to learn the total amount of general purpose aid to education for the district later this week. A budget workshop meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8.

Under the governor’s proposed state budget, Maine schools could lose more than $73 million during the current and next fiscal years.

Ward said he will present a general overview of the budget needs and a breakdown of anticipated reduced aid from the state and how it might impact the district. The current operating budget is $34.2 million, a number that will likely be reduced for the upcoming fiscal year. The district serves just over 3,000 pupils.

Voters of the 10 towns in the district will decide whether to continue with a two-part method of approving a budget: a public meeting vote, followed by a referendum validation vote.

In other matters Monday night, the board approved an overnight class trip to Boston and Plimouth Plantation in Massachusetts  in June for about 54 Buckfield Junior-Senior High School eighth-graders and 15 chaperones.

The estimated $5,500 needed has been raised by students through fundraisers, including $2,000 from the sale of vegetables from the student-run one-acre garden next to the school.

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