PARIS — Voters in the Oxford Hills School District will make the first of two decisions on a $38.2 million budget Thursday, June 4.

The districtwide meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Forum at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School on Route 26.

Voters from Paris, Norway, Oxford, Harrison, Waterford, West Paris, Hebron and Otisfield will decide on 17 warrant articles for the 2015-16 spending package. If the budget passes, it will go for a vote at polling stations in each town on Tuesday, June 9.

The SAD 17 board of directors unanimously approved the proposed budget May 18. It is $815,633 more than this fiscal year, or a 2.18 percent increase.

It will mean an increase of $892,022 in the local share for the eight towns. The increases in local assessments will range from highs of 7.42 percent for Oxford and 7 percent for Otisfield, to lows of 2.94 percent for Waterford and negative 0.38 percent for Harrison, which pays on a per-pupil basis.

The warrant, which asks for $15.12 million for regular education, includes money for four new positions that largely deal with rising special education costs. The district is asking for $4.82 million for special education costs.


The budget does have some cuts, including about $100,000 in contingency funds, which were put in place to pay for charter school tuition. The state has now taken over that financial burden, Superintendent Rick Colpitts said.

The budget also shows a cut of one bus purchase, the potential loss of two bus routes and the savings from a retired middle school teacher who will not be replaced.

Voters will be asked to approve $2.7 million for student and staff support; $3.2 million for career and technical education; $2.1 million for school administration and $3.9 million for facilities maintenance.

The warrant also requests approval of $3.8 million for the Oxford Hills Technical School. School Director Shawn Lambert said the request reflects a 2 percent — or $111,000 — increase over last year’s budget.

Every three years, voters are required to consider whether the school budget validation referendum process will continue. The last vote took place for the 2013-14 budget year. SAD 17 voters approved continuing the process, so Thursday’s warrant votes must be ratified by a referendum Tuesday.

Norway Town Clerk Shirley Boyce said those who are seeking more details about the school budget in Norway and do not attend the budget meeting on Thursday, June 4, will see the results of that meeting posted at the polls.

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