GRAY — Regional School Unit 15 will hold a district budget meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Gray-New Gloucester High School cafetorium on Libby Hill Road in Gray.

Voter registration begins at 6 p.m.

The proposed 2015-16 budget totals $23.91 million, an increase of $116,970 or 0.49 percent compared to the current school year’s budget.

If approved, the increase would amount to a property tax increase for Gray residents of $14 per $100,000 of assessed property value. For New Gloucester residents, it would be about $7.

Registered voters will be asked to decide 18 warrant articles to fund the district’s five schools, pay debt service of $601,964, raise $2.28 million for additional local funds, administration and transportation services and $3.99 million  for special education.

Superintendent Bruce Beasley said by phone on Monday the district is no longer required to fund the cost of charter school placements at $384,862. Gov. Paul LePage recently signed legislation to fund charter schools at the state level.


The district also plans to reduce two teacher positions at Russell School because of lower enrollment projections and eliminate one assistant high school principal’s post.

A resource teacher will be added at the high school, plus two special education technicians.

Special education costs are up $438,990 due to increases in student needs and population.

Regular instruction funding is down by $434,833, which includes Gifted and Talented and English Language Learners programs and the removal of charter school expenses.

In addition, voters will be asked to fund adult education at $127,340 and raise $53,000 as the local share in a separate warrant article.

By written ballot, voters will also be asked to pay $99,544 to fund a school resource officer for 38 weeks per year — an appropriation that exceeds the state’s Essential Programs and Services allocation model. This funding will be provided only if a companion article is passed in June by Gray voters to fund 14 additional weeks for sheriff’s department services.

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