TURNER — The SAD 52 Board of Directors voted Wednesday night to adopt a revised proposed budget for 2012-13.

The new budget represents a 0.3673 percent reduction from the previous budget, which was defeated in a referendum on May 8.

Superintendent Henry Alberti and the board encourage all residents to attend the district budget meeting vote at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5, in the auditorium of Leavitt Area High School. At this meeting voters will set the amounts for various sections of the school budget in a town-meeting style vote.

Voters will have an opportunity to approve, or again reject, the proposed budget in a referendum on the following Tuesday, June 12, at their regular polling places in each town. Only 354 of the approximately 3,900 registered voters in the three towns turned out when the original budget was defeated by 10 votes.

Even with the $85,195 reduction, the $23,112,515 budget represents an increase of $212,033 or 0.93 percent over the 2011-2012 budget. Alberti said the estimated yearly tax impact on a home valued at $100,000 would be $41 in Greene, $74 in Leeds, and $28 in Turner.

Alberti said that SAD 52 spends less than the state average for regular instruction, special education, student and staff support and system administration.

He said that the 48 student drop in enrolment was spread throughout the district. Twenty-seven fewer students are in grades pre-kindergarten through 6; 24 fewer students are in grades 7 and 8; while the high school had an increase of three students.

Enrollment varies from year to year, Alberti said. It decreased from 2007 through 2009, then in 2010 jumped back up to 2007 levels.

In previous meetings he reminded residents that most of the budget was set by contract with employees and could not be changed by the board. He said that 76 percent of the budget was salaries and benefits set by contract. Also, many of the items included in the remaining 24 percent are beyond the board’s control.

At a public hearing, residents had reminded the board that a cut in the proposed increase was still an increase in the budget. At that same hearing several residents spoke against the cuts proposed in the original budget and encouraged the board to reinstate positions slated to be cut while others advocated for more budget cuts.


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