Voters from Sabattus, Wales and Litchfield gave their initial approval to RSU 4’s $18.1 million school spending package Wednesday.

The 53 voters made no changes to the 16-item budget but they asked lots of questions, Superintendent James Hodgkin said.

“I think we were pretty well-prepared,” Hodgkin said. “We went through a pretty comprehensive process in putting this budget together.”

The approval sends the full budget to voters Tuesday, June 10, in all three towns. Polls are scheduled to be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at town offices in Wales and Sabattus and at the Sportsmen’s Club in Litchfield.

The budget proposal, approved by the RSU 4 board April 30, calls for a 2.8 percent increase over last year’s spending plan. In 2013, the budget referendum failed twice before winning approval on its third try.

Hodgkin said Thursday that he believes the 2014-15 budget will pass if enough people go to the polls. He has encouraged members of the school board to ask their friends and neighbors to vote.

“We’re crossing our fingers,” Hodgkin said.

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

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.

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