GRAY — The SAD 15 district budget meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, in the cafetorium at the Gray-New Gloucester High School on Libby Hill Road.

A voter registration check-in begins at 6 p.m.

Voters will be asked to approve a 17-article warrant that paves the way for a final district referendum approval vote on June 11 at the polls in Gray and New Gloucester.

The proposed budget for the district totals $22,299,572 for 2013-14, an increase of $1,147,596 or 5.4 percent over the current budget of $21,151,976.

A statement by SAD 15 board Chairman Alan Rich said current economic times have shifted the financial burden to the towns for the upcoming fiscal year.

“This year we are confronted with the additional burdens of funding for charter schools and the state retirement obligations for our faculty. This represents a shift of taxes from Augusta directly onto the local property taxpayer. In addition to dealing with this unprecedented financial responsibility, we have absorbed a tremendous reduction in funding to get to this final number.”

Superintendent Bruce Beasley indicated that the typical budget increase would be a 3.1 percent of $652.109. But charter school tuition and Maine State Retirement costs have added an additional $495,000, or 2.3 percent, to the upcoming fiscal year budget for SAD 15.

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