DIXFIELD — The RSU 10 board will face some tough decisions Monday night if they are to keep the 2014-15 budget at this year’s amount of $36.5 million.

The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. March 31 in the library at Mountain Valley High School.

At Monday’s board meeting, Superintendent Craig King and business manager Mary Dailey addressed the financial situation and said the goal is not to increase the budget. However, King said the district will receive $1.1 million less in general purpose aid to education for the upcoming year and another $2 million may likely be cut so local school taxes in the 12 towns don’t increase.

These reductions don’t include a shortfall in MaineCare reimbursement of about $500,000, a nutritional program deficit of $328,000, repair or replacement of the MVHS roof, and negotiated contract increases.

During the past few months, building principals and others have presented their top priorities to the board.

“Those priorities are dead on arrival,” King said Tuesday afternoon. “They come out $2 million over.”


Late Tuesday morning, school principals and others with budget requests met with King.

“We’ve known about this for a few days,” King said. “We’re going back to the drawing board to reach $36.5 million.”

King said, “This financial situation is so profound that there is no cost center, program, bargaining unit or service that won’t be affected.”

About 80 percent of the budget is salaries and benefits for staff, he said.

King asked the board Monday to consider some questions before its next meeting:

* How do officials develop a strategy to address the stark realities of the 2014-15 budget cycle in the long term?

* How do officials come to terms with the fact that the financial underpinnings of the district are not sound?

* How do officials plot a course for the future based on the realities?

RSU 10 serves about 2,700 students from the towns of Rumford, Mexico, Byron, Roxbury, Dixfield, Carthage, Canton, Peru, Hanover, Buckfield, Hartford and Sumner.

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