AUBURN — A public hearing on the 2014-15 school budget will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday by the School Committee.

The $39.04 million proposal is 5 percent more than the current budget and would increase property taxes $118 for a home valued at $150,000.

The major reasons for the increase are flat funding from the state, raises for teachers, who went without them this year, other labor contracts being negotiated, expected high health insurance costs and higher MaineCare costs for special education students.

The budget has three new positions and more sports for middle school students.

On March 26 committee members added $154,000 in new positions and programs, directing Superintendent Katy Grondin to find cuts in other areas to keep it at no more than 5 percent more than this year.

New spending includes two positions to help English language learner students and their families, a “cultural broker” to work as a translator for families at an annual salary of $35,000, and $26,147 for an ELL educational technician for grades nine to 12.


The majority of ELL students are from Somali families. The number of ELL students in Auburn schools is 213, down from 217 in 2013, up from 199 the year before.

Also added to the budget was $63,000 for an instruction coach for grades seven to 12 to boost learning and $20,765 for new sports programs for the middle school. The Auburn Middle School would get cross country for seventh- and eighth-graders, soccer, baseball and softball for seventh-graders.

Also, the guidance counselor at East Auburn school will increase her work schedule from three to four days a week at an annual cost of $8,694.

“They’ve asked me to look at other adjustments that could be made in the budget without raising the bottom line” more than 5 percent, Grondin said. “I will be working on that and bring it to the committee’s 5:30 p.m. workshop on Wednesday.”

Committee members said no to requests of $33,500 for a teacher to help students recover credits, $6,000 for an L/A Arts Maine Writes Poetry program and $500 for a Museum L-A membership.

At the committee’s regular meeting at 7 p.m., Grondin said, “We’re anxious to hear from the public on what they’re looking for” in the school budget. The public has been given opportunities to offer feedback at every budget meeting, but this will be a more formal “moment for them to speak and give feedback.”


Most of the committee indicated March 26 that they supported a budget with a 5 percent increase or more. The exception was Ron Potvin, who said a 5 percent increase would be voted down in the June 10 budget referendum.

His suggestions included axing the adult education program, eliminating one assistant principal at the high school and cutting money for labor contracts not yet negotiated. All of them were rejected.

The public hearing is in the City Council Chamber of Auburn Hall.

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