Superintendents for the Bethel-area and Rumford-Dixfield-Buckfield school districts learned Wednesday they will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal stimulus money, which they hope to save for next year.

SAD 44 in Bethel received $269,118 from the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act; while Regional School Unit 10 $448,000.

SAD 44 Superintendent David Murphy and RSU 10 Superintendent Tom Ward said they don’t plan to spend much of it now. Instead, they hope to save it toward what both consider an even tougher budget year for 2011-12.

Ward said his district is expected to experience a $1 million shortfall in federal and state aid to education during the next school year.

“I was pleased with the amount,” he said. “I had no idea how much we would be getting.”

Eleven positions in RSU 10 were not filled for this school year and the kindergarten at Dirigo Elementary School and sixth grade at Dirigo Middle School are expected to be crowded.

Ward said the kindergarten position will be filled and funded either through Class Size Reduction money, or with the federal stimulus money, which is expected to be disbursed in the next couple of weeks. He also wants to fill an additional sixth-grade position at Dirigo Middle School.

The plan is to save the remainder of the stimulus money, Ward said.

Schools in RSU 10, also called the Western Foothills School District, open Thursday. The district includes the towns of Rumford, Mexico, Byron, Roxbury, Canton, Dixfield, Carthage, Peru, Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner and Hanover.

Murphy said he expects state aid to be curtailed this school year, along with the end of previously distributed federal stimulus money.

“There are (budget) implications over a two-year period,” he said.

He said about 15 positions were cut districtwide.

“We will look at the immediate needs and wait until school opens. We want to be cautious,” he said.

Schools in SAD 44, which includes Bethel, Andover, Newry, Greenwood and Woodstock, open Thursday.

The SAD 44 board’s Finance Committee is scheduled to meet Oct. 1, but may do so earlier to discuss the new money, Murphy said.

Statewide, schools are expected to receive $39.1 million from the jobs portion of the stimulus package, while $77 million is slated for Medicaid assistance.

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