GRAY — Voters approved at $20.45 million budget for SAD 15 Thursday night.

It marked the first of two steps in the budget approval process for Gray and New Gloucester. The second is a referendum June 14 in each town.

The 2011-12 budget of $20,454,201 is $764,258 more than this year, but does not raise assessments. Rather, taxes in Gray and New Gloucester will decrease because of federal stimulus and Jobs Bills funding, Superintendent Victoria Burns said.

Article 14 required a written ballot to approve raising and spending $276,640 in additional local funds above the district’s local contribution. It passed 68-2.

The district will receive an increase of $649,954 in state subsidy, contrasting a loss of $1.5 million over the past five years.

Donald Libby of New Gloucester served as moderator.