FARMINGTON – The Regional School Unit 9 directors will review the 2016-17 budget proposals with administrators, directors and department heads line by line Superintendent Tom Ward said at Tuesday’s workshop.

In the past, the board’s ad hoc budget committee met with administrators and department heads before the entire board reviewed the spending plan line by line.

The board is to work with the administrator team to develop and present a budget that best meets the needs of the district’s students and is fiscally responsible to the communities, he said.

“We’re going to have tough issues to discuss and tough decisions to make,” Ward said.

He reviewed the history of school funding, data on the state’s Essential Programs Services funding model, preliminary funding information and other items connected to developing a budget.

The board will meet every Tuesday and Thursday for the next three months, except for April school vacation. There will be three budget informational meetings this year instead of the superintendent visiting with each Board of Selectmen in each town.

The meetings will be in New Sharon, Farmington and Wilton. Residents can choose one to attend. Ward said he is looking at holding them three nights in a row in April.

During budget meetings board members can ask questions to clarify information or to get additional information from the Central Office. Members of the public will also be able to ask questions as long as it pertains to what is being discussed at the time.

Community members are encouraged to:

* Attend board meetings.

* View budget meetings on Mt. Blue TV, if people have the local cable station. Ward said they are also going to try and stream the meetings on the Internet.

* Communicate with their school board director.

* Provide written communication to the entire board.

* Attend regional budget meetings.

Board Vice Chairwoman Betsey Hyde of Temple said she put a sign up last year at the Post Office with her contact information for anyone to call her about the budget. No one did.

She would like people to contact directors if they have questions, she said.

Director Angela LeClair of Wilton said she was speaking with a selectperson who told her he planned to vote it down. The majority of what is in the budget is mandated by the state, she said. People need to fight with Augusta.

“Don’t fight with us. It is not us,” she said.

The next budget workshop is at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at The Forum at Mt. Blue Campus in Farmington.

The movie “Paper Tigers” will be screened at 6:30 p.m. It is about 1 hour and 42 minutes and will be followed by a half-hour panel discussion.

Budget books will be passed out to directors afterward.

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