AUBURN — As the Auburn school superintendent prepares to present his budget next month, he went over a list of “needs” with the School Committee on Wednesday.

The list included an English language learner “cultural broker,” coaches, teachers and an elementary school nurse. It totaled more than $1 million.

Superintendent Tom Morrill began the presentation by showing how much Auburn taxpayers have spent on education in recent years.

In 2006-07, the $32.6 million budget required $15.6 million from local taxpayers. This year, the $34 million budget would require $14.7 million from taxpayers, nearly $1 million less than five years ago.

The School Department has worked to balance the needs of students and taxpayers, but some of the cuts “have come with a cost,” Morrill said. He did not propose Wednesday night that Auburn spend the extra $1 million, but he wanted to make School Committee members aware before working on the budget next month.

Morrill’s list included:

* $108,292 for more English language learner teachers and a “cultural broker,” or liaison, to work with students and families. Auburn’s immigrant student population has grown from 41 in 2001 to 192.

* $60,989 for an elementary school nurse. The health needs of students are greater than ever, with some students being treated for life-threatening diseases, including cancer, food allergies, diabetes and organ transplants. Several schools do not have nurses, Morrill said.

* About $200,000 more for special education, including several teachers, a behavior specialist, a bus driver and a bus aide. Auburn has 620 special education students, about 17 percent of the student population. While the needs have grown, the federal government has not kept its promise to pay for special education, leaving the burden to local property taxpayers.

* $121,210 to better use the 1,000 laptops at Edward Little High School. The money could pay for two technology integrators who could work with teachers and show them ways to use technology to make learning more engaging.

* $45,500 more for supplies, including books.

* $33,445 to launch a summer school program that would especially be beneficial to students from low-income families. Lewiston has a summer program and a high school graduation in August. Summer school would help freshmen stay on track to graduate on time, and help seniors who need a few more courses to graduate on time.

* $254,692 for more early literacy intervention. The money would be used to hire literacy coaches and to provide professional development to help teachers ensure young students have solid reading skills. Research shows third grades who aren’t reading at third-grade level will have less success in school.

* $89,620 to build a new “expeditionary learning” program at the Auburn Middle School. The program would involve hands-on learning and community projects.

Morrill released recent test scores that showed most Auburn schools were not meeting learning targets for math and reading.

He also offered a snapshot of Auburn students: 67 percent of high school students complete high school in four years; 25 percent have changed residence one or more times during the school year; and 38 percent live with one parent. Only 30 percent of students are perceived by teachers to be fully motivated to learn, he said.

“We’ve got students in our schools right now waiting for us to change,” Morrill said. “We have incredible faculty that’s willing to dig deep. They certainly need our support, your support, the community’s support.”

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