FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 directors will discuss the next step in the budget process next week, after the $32.25 million school budget was rejected by voters Tuesday.

The vote was 741-1,045. 

The proposed budget represented a 3.9 percent increase, or $1.2 million, more than this fiscal year.

“I want to thank the people that supported the proposed budget,” Superintendent Tom Ward said. “I want to emphasize that it is our job to put forth a budget that meets the needs of our children.

“The school district was put in a no-win situation when the state increased the educational mill rate to towns from 8.1 percent to 8.47 percent,” he said. “This is the amount the towns have to raise to receive their state allocation. That amount of increase on our towns was not realistic.”

The good news is that when the state budget is passed, “we will all know how much additional money will be added to general purpose aid to education to reduce the educational mill rate to the towns,” he said.

He asked district residents to “please emphasize to your representatives” how important it is that the educational mill rate be reduced by keeping the additional money for General Purpose Aid to Education in the proposed state budget.

“I know that our communities are very proud of our schools,” Ward said. “I encourage everyone to work together to support a budget that meets the needs of our children and is fiscally responsible.”

Ward plans to meet with the administrative team prior to the school board’s meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, at the Forum at Mt. Blue Campus on Seamon Road in Farmington.

The board will discuss the next step in the 2015-16 budget process, he said.

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