GRAY — In less than an hour Thursday night, Gray and New Gloucester residents overwhelmingly passed the School Administrative District 15 budget of $24.5 million for 2016-17.

Ballot clerks said 19 residents from New Gloucester and 48 residents from Gray cast ballots. Don Libby served as moderator.

The budget goes to a validation referendum at town polling stations June 14.

Superintendent Bruce Beasley, who will retire June 30, said he was proud of the accomplishments of the district during his five-year tenure and proud of the staff and school board for their work. Most of all, he said he was proud of the community for supporting the district’s students.

Finance Committee Chairwoman Anne Rowe gave in in-depth review of the budget. Amounts approved were:

• $9,977,167, regular instruction;

• $4,137,678, special education;

• $287,682, career and technical education;

• $755,606, middle and high school co-curricular and extracurricular programs, including stipends for advisers and coaches, supplies and equipment and student travel;

• $2,162,472, student and staff support;

* $736,496, system administration;

 * $1,322,750, school administration;

 * $1,663,262, transportation and buses;

 * $2,699,937, facilities maintenance; and

 * $792,582, debt service.

Gray’s share of the budget is $7.02 million; New Gloucester’s is $3.9 million.

Gray resident Fran Monroe’s motion to cut $30,000 from co-curricular and extracurricular budget was overwhelmingly defeated.

Nathan Tsukaroff of Gray spoke against the motion.

“Sports are not about kids having fun,” he said. “The price of sports is priceless.  The price is far greater than what we’re spending.”

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