LIVERMORE FALLS — Regional School Unit 36 directors voted Thursday not to eliminate 13 positions and staff that Superintendent Sue Pratt recommended be cut from the budget.

There is no funding for the positions in the proposed $18.28 million in the consolidated RSU 73 budget for 2011-12, Pratt told the board.

She recommended eliminating an English teacher and dean of students at the high school. Regardless of whether Jay and RSU 36 were consolidating on July 1, she said there are too many English teachers at the high school for the number of students projected.

There are currently five and there should be 3.1, she said. She recommended cutting one.

English classes have from three to 22 students, she said, and the average per class is 12.8 students. The high school enrollment is projected to decline by 10, Pratt said.

There would also be an option of Livermore Falls students going to Jay, she said.

Directors voiced concern about there being enough teachers to teach electives.

Pratt said the board should not be justifying running smaller classes.

“I also cannot justify getting rid of a teacher and not offering electives,” Director Ann Souther said.

Director Denise Rodzen said consolidation was supposed to benefit students by offering them more options.

“I’m certainly not recommending anything that won’t work for students,” Pratt said.

“I’m leery of cutting positions at this time until the new board is voted on,” Director Jackie Knight said.

Directors will be elected Tuesday, April 19.

Chairman Ashley O’Brien said it’s not easy to eliminate staff. Districts all around are having to do that because they need to be responsible to the taxpayers, he said.

Director Tim Madden said he sat on the teaching and learning panel that worked on developing a plan for consolidation. The idea was to keep English teachers at Jay and Livermore Falls and add a literacy component, he said.

There is a literacy team now and the work will continue, Pratt said.

The motion to eliminate the English teacher failed, 3-6 with Madden, Souther, Rodzen, Elaine LaPointe, Knight and Diane Gould opposed. Castonguay abstained.

The board also voted 3-7 not to eliminate the dean of students. Opposed to cutting the position were Cindy Young, Gould, Madden, Souther, LaPointe, Rodzen and Knight.

The plan is to have one principal for the two high schools, with the majority of time spent at Livermore Falls. An assistant principal will be located at Jay High School. Both schools will have a non-administrative support person to assist in student matters.

Some board members suggested the new board might not like the proposed budget.

“Your current staff is your responsibility and what you are doing is pushing your responsibility on to the new board,” Pratt said.

No motions were made to not renew English teacher, Katie Lafreniere’s probationary contract or terminate current Dean of Students Vicki Thayer-Adams.

A motion to eliminate math teacher Billie Putnam’s contract also failed 4-6 with LaPointe, Knight, Gould, Souther, Madden and Rodzen proposed.

Pratt said there was a surplus of one math teacher at the middle school and that one would move up to the high school.

Board members voted 2-7 not to eliminate 10 educational technician III positions. Lynn Knight and O’Brien were in favor and Souther abstained. The staff members in those positions would have been nominated to fill a lower level tech position, which is currently about $2 less an hour.

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