DIXFIELD β€” Two Mountain Valley High School students attending Wednesday night’s Regional School Unit 10 budget hearing said they didn’t realize how much it costs to operate a school district.

Seniors Lindsay Marston and Shawna Bielawsky were directed to attend a board meeting by their social studies teacher, Chris Carver.

“I’m really surprised about how much it costs to run the schools,” Marston said.

The students were among the few residents who attended to hear a presentation by Superintendent Craig King.

The 2015-16 proposed budget is $36.71 million, which is about 1.5 percent more than this fiscal year.

King said if it’s passed by residents of the district’s 12 towns, 45 percent, or $16.64 million, would be raised locally; 52 percent, or almost $19 million, would come from general purpose aid from the state, and about $1.1 million would come from miscellaneous sources.

Ten towns will see a decrease their assessment, while Hanover and Roxbury will see an increase. Hanover would pay about $900 more. Because of the value of the wind turbine project in Roxbury, the town would pay about $26,000 more to RSU 10.

The proposed budget includes reinstatement of the equivalent of five positions. Last year, 44 full- and part-time positions were cut. Reinstated were half-time positions in elementary art, music, physical education, library and social worker services, as well as partial reinstatement of middle school administration and special education.

Also included is a 2.5 percent salary increase for staff.

About $600,000 has been carried over from previous years.

Resident Larry LaPointe asked whether a free lunch program may be instituted in the district, as it has in some districts.

King said he is actively pursuing a lunch program that would provide free lunches for every student.

A second public hearing on the budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at Buckfield Junior Senior High School.

The first public vote on a budget takes place at 6:30 p.m. May 27, at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. A referendum will be held June 9 at the polls in the 12 towns: Canton, Carthage, Peru, Dixfield, Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, Hanover, Byron, Roxbury, Mexico and Rumford.


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