RUMFORD — The RSU 10 board Monday night authorized Superintendent Craig King to discuss a salary freeze with seven Western Foothills Educational Association bargaining units and agreed to eliminate positions for 24 teachers or educational technicians, six other support staff and one administrator.

A pay freeze was also imposed on central office administrators and all school principals. Stipends for the 17-member school board were severely reduced as well.

The proposed cuts in staff will likely cause some teachers to travel between teaching sites, King said.

But even with these cuts, nearly $1 million more must be cut to reach a 2014-15 budget of $36.5 million, the same as the current year.

King said the measures discussed Monday night are prompted by the 12-town district receiving $1.1 million less in general purpose aid to education and ensuring no increase in school assessments.

None of the measures addressed the numerous roof leaks at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, MaineCare costs, or the $328,000 nutrition department debt.

Also cut or reduced were:

* One building administrator position;

* $100,000 from the $1 million extra-curricular and co-curricular accounts for grades six to 12;

* A middle school athletic administrator;

* Summer school program cuts;

* Teacher stipends cuts;

* Contingency account cuts; and

* Some buildings, grounds and transportation costs.

King said class sizes for the four elementary schools are in compliance with the state’s guidelines under the Essential Programs and Services mandate, and the three middle schools and three high schools are closer to the EPS numbers.

He said the district has inefficiencies because of the number of schools and the potential for building closures to save money could come in three or four years.

The district includes the towns of Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Peru, Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, Byron, Mexico, Roxbury, Rumford and Hanover.

The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. April 14 at the Hartford-Sumner Elementary School in Sumner to finalize a budget.

Public hearings are set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, at the Sumner school and for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology.


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