LIVERMORE FALLS — Regional School Unit 73 directors voted Monday to add $96,682 to the budget to restore a full-time gifted and talented teaching position and return a half-time social worker to full-time status.

Those changes bring the proposed budget to $19 million for 2012-13.

Directors have a couple of unanswered questions on items and are scheduled to make a final decision on the proposal at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at the Cedar Street Boardroom in Livermore Falls.

The spending package is $609,229 more than the current budget. With anticipated reductions in state and federal funds, it means taxpayers would pick up a $1 million-plus more in local funding than they did for 2011-12.

Superintendent Robert Wall said the initial spending plan of $18.9 million was scrutinized closely by administrators. Cuts and reductions were made to balance the needs of the system, compensate for a significant reduction in revenue and meet the needs of taxpayers.

The decision to restore the positions came after discussions at a couple of budget meetings and parents adding their input.

The restored social worker position squeaked by in a 5-4 vote. It was unclear how each voted. The cost was $49,087 to restore it to full-time because when the position was to be half-time, no money for benefits were included, Wall said. The gifted and talented position was done by unanimous vote. The cost is $47,595.

A vote to restore an alternative education teacher at the middle school at a cost of $22,689 failed in a 3-6 vote. There is money in the budget for an educational technician II to work with students in the program.

A vote to add $78,000 back into the budget to keep the gym, stage and locker rooms open at the closed Livermore Falls Middle School for one more year also failed in a 2-7 vote. Directors Jackie Knight of Livermore Falls and Cindy Young of Livermore were in favor.

Knight said new quotes had been received for demolition of the academic wing and asbestos removal that were much less than previous quotes. She wanted to hold off on a decision until the committee studying what to do with the school was updated.

The school was kept open this school year to allow the gym and stage to be used for community sports and high school drama and band performances.

There is $20,000 in the proposed budget to close the school.

Also proposed to be reduced are full-time positions to a half-time teacher,  half-time industrial technology, and half-time physical education teacher.

Full-time positions proposed to be eliminated are a dean of students, a world language teacher, alternate education position and a health teacher.

In addition, positions of three teachers retiring will not be filled. Those positions are in English, social studies and math.

A food service position is also being eliminated but is not factored into the budget. The food service budget is not included in the overall budget, Wall said, because it is self-sustaining.

Directors postponed a decision on reducing five education technician IIIs until minutes of a 1990s SAD 36 board meeting were reviewed that Rodzen said grandfathered certain educational technician IIIs when the state changed guidelines.

Rodzen said the SAD 36 board promised ed techs IIIs at the time that as long as they worked for the district they would remain ed tech IIIs.

One of those people is included in the five proposed to be reduced a level, which includes less pay.

Wall said the reason the positions are being reduced is because there is no need for that level.

The difference in cost is $1,631.

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