SALEM TOWNSHIP — Voters approved a $9.39 million budget for Regional School Unit 58 on Tuesday night after adding money for instruction.

Eighty-nine voters from Strong, Phillips, Kingfield and Avon gathered at Mt. Abram High School to act on the 16-article warrant.

The most discussion revolved around $123,585 in cuts to instruction, reducing the number of prekindergarten classrooms from three to two.

Superintendent Susan Pratt there were also savings from not replacing retiring teachers in Kingfield and Phillips.

By a written ballot, voters approved adding $123,585 for instruction. The vote was 58-31.

In other matters, Tina Brackley will continue as assistant principal at Mt. Abram High School and district athletic director. The district is required to have an athletic director to participate in league competitions with other schools.


Cuts in facilities and transportation included carpeting, tables and flooring for the three elementary schools and an after-school bus run.

The school board voted to reinstate the alpine skiing program and to hire an educational technician at Kingfield School. Voters agreed with those recommendations.

Pratt said 63 percent of the budget covers salaries and benefits.

Based on the Maine Department of Education’s 2016 statistics, RSU 58 spends $10,947 per pupil, compared to the statewide average of $11,348, Pratt said.

Although RSU 58 takes students from other districts and from unorganized territories, the Maine Department of Education reimburses the district for tuition only. Since RSU 58 is not required to provide athletic programs, prekindergarten or kindergarten classes, the board must request the extra money from taxpayers.

Pratt said the loss of $235,652 in state subsidies will be made up by taxpayers, if voters approve the budget.

An increase in town valuations reduces the state’s subsidy.

Voters will go to the polls June 12 to vote on the budget approved Tuesday night.

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