An $18.1 million school spending package will go to voters in Sabattus, Wales and Litchfield on June 10.

That budget figure, approved by the RSU 4 school board on April 30, calls for a 2.8 percent increase over last year’s controversial budget. In 2013, the RSU 4 budget referendum failed twice before winning approval.

“I guess I’m a little less nervous (this time),” Superintendent James Hodgkin said Wednesday. “I’d never been through the process of having a budget rejected ever in my 29 years.”

Most of this year’s increase was due to a couple of items, Hodgkin said. Insurance costs rose 9.5 percent, accounting for almost $200,000 in new expenses. The school district was also mandated to add about $120,000 worth of MaineCare funds to the budget.

The budget also includes a pair of new positions. Proposed are a new special education teacher for Oak Hill High School and a special education technician, who probably will be assigned to the high school.

“I think the board was very thoughtful and deliberate in its process this year,” Hodgkin said. “I just feel good about the process.”

The board also hired a new principal for the Sabattus Primary and Libby Tozier schools for the 2014-15 school year.

Kathy Martin, who teaches grades two and three at Fairview Elementary School in Auburn, was chosen from eight candidates for the position, Hodgkin said.

He credited her work as a coach with the Reinventing Schools Coalition as helping her stand apart from the other applicants.

“She certainly has a very strong skill set and will be able to support the teachers in her schools,” he said.

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