PERU — The RSU 10 board agreed on a $37.1 million budget Wednesday night, coming to within about $600,000 of its goal of $36.5 million for 2014-15.

An official vote on the budget will be held at the April 28 board meeting at Dirigo High School.

To reach the $37.1 million mark, 44 full-time equivalent positions, including about 23 teaching and 10 educational technician positions, were eliminated.

Other cuts include closing the Central Office building on Nash Street in Dixfield. In addition to the offices, that building also housed several classrooms for Dirigo High School students.

Some of the positions cut include 1.5 administrators, one librarian, one custodian/bus driver and three clerical positions. Also cut were some after-school and summer school stipends and New England Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation for the district’s three high schools.

Other cost-cutting measures include a reduction in school board members’ stipends, $150,000 from extra-curricular activities, teacher leadership stipends, and central office administrator pay freezes.


Superintendent Craig King said RSU 10, like many other school districts in the state, is facing crisis decisions.

During the past four months, the board has tried to write a budget equal to the current year’s amount of $36.5 million. Even if it had been successful, most of the 12 towns in the district would still face an increase in their assessment because of a loss of $1.1 million in general purpose aid to education from the state.

However, after considering another round of job cuts suggested by King, and turning it down, the board agreed $37.1 million is the best that could be done while still offering essentially the same educational program.

“Another round of cuts would substantially impact our services,” King said.

He said he still hopes the Western Foothills Educational Association’s bargaining units will agree to open the current contracts and consent to a full or partial salary freeze.

The proposed budget retains a portion of the after-school programs, allows for sealing the leaky Mountain Valley High School roof, and eliminates a proposal for student athletes to pay to play.

Once the budget is officially adopted by the board, there will be public hearings at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday,  May 20, at Dirigo High School and at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School.

Residents will vote on it at a districtwide meeting May 29 and validate it at the polls in each town June 10.

RSU 10 includes the towns of Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, Canton, Peru, Dixfield, Carthage, Mexico, Rumford, Byron, Roxbury and Hanover.

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