LISBON — Gov. Paul LePage’s state budget plan released last Friday sparked many concerns among School Committee members Monday night.

“There are a lot of unknowns and variables that are going to be challenging,” Superintendent Richard Green said. “The key component of this budget is that it reduces all of system administration, which for us is around $476,000, as part of our budget.”

Other proposals in the governor’s budget include:

• Cutting funding to the Maine Learning Technology Initiative laptop program, affecting Philip W. Sugg Middle School;

• Reducing General Purpose Aid to Education by $9.5 million; and

• Restructuring special education funding.

“It’s great that (LePage) and possibly other members of (state government) feel like they are balancing their budget,” Austin said. “But over the years, it becomes more and more burdensome for individual towns.”

As for the School Committee’s budget, Green estimated that it would be close to that of last year. The only big change will be a shift of funds, he said. 

“There will be a decrease in bond interest,” Green said. “But we added those funds into the debt service for the buses and transferred it to technology.”

The committee is still waiting for its audit review to be completed after filing an extension last month.

“Our finance reports are still inaccurate,” Green said. “There’s a lot of money that was charged to this year’s report and needs to be charged to last year’s. Until we do that, we won’t have an accurate account of what we have for funding available.”

After the audit is completed, the committee will make these adjustments to the finance report and move forward with its budget.


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