LIVERMORE FALLS — The RSU 73 board learned of proposed changes to two elementary schools Tuesday night as they began to look at the 2014-15 budget.

The proposed budget is $18.86 million, up 1.5 percent, or about $289,000, from this year’s $18.59 million.

Superintendent Robert Wall told the board that the preliminary general purpose aid to education figure is $5.73 million, which is about $13,000 more than this year.

Wall proposed moving most pre-kindergartners from classrooms at the Central Office in Livermore Falls to elementary schools in Jay and Livermore Falls. The rest, less than 20, will continue to have classes through Community Concepts because there is not enough space at either elementary school, Wall said.

Also proposed was replacing some of the grade one, two and three classes at the two schools with transitional grades. Elementary school Principals Chris Hollingsworth at Jay and Robert Kahler at Livermore, said the focus on providing an additional year of transitional instruction will not require more staff. Instead, teachers could be moved into transitional kindergarten, transitional first, and possibly, a transitional third grade classroom.

The proposals are based on the belief that children will be more successful if they are on grade level by third grade.

In the proposed budget, Wall showed a cost breakdown that would increase the school tax on a $100,000 home in Jay by $36.13, decrease a similar home in Livermore Falls by $21.74, and decrease for a similar home in Livermore by $18.15.

The figures are based on Jay’s state valuation going up, and Livermore Falls’ and Livermore’s valuations going down.

Wall said the proposed budget is an effort to support all students in the best possible way.

“Every time we put a budget together it is a transition to a better RSU,” he said.

The next budget session is set for 6 p.m. March 20 at the Central Office. A detailed presentation on the services and uses available through Spruce Mountain Adult and Community Education will be made. The program is offered in an area of the former Livermore Falls High School.

Wall said voters will be asked whether they want to maintain the building or close it.

Also at the March 20 meeting, the board will review Spruce Mountain High School, transportation and maintenance, special education, technology and several other cost centers.

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