RUMFORD — The Regional School Unit 10 board of directors Tuesday night approved a proposed $27.9 million budget for 2019-20.

If approved by voters, the budget would be a 5.3% increase from current spending, but a 0.03% decrease in assessments to taxpayers.

The district has been able to control costs because its health insurance premiums will not increase for the coming year and because of an $822,000 increase in state funding, according to Superintendent Deb Alden.

Alden said district officials had estimated a 10 percent increase in the cost of employee health insurance.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for May 15 at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, and a districtwide budget meeting is set for May 22 at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.

Budget validation referendums are scheduled for June 11 in Rumford, Hanover, Hartford, Mexico, Roxbury, Peru and Sumner.

In other matters, the board voted to extend this year’s last day of school to a half day Monday, June 17. The district recently finished a 10-week plan during which it extended the school day every Wednesday by an hour to make up for two storm-cancellation days in November. Another school day was canceled Monday, however, due to snow and sleet.

Board members considered restarting the “extended Wednesdays” plan or even lengthening each school day for a full week, but voted to move the last day of school to June 17.

“We’re struggling with keeping kids that last hour (during extended Wednesdays),” said Matt Gilbert, principal at Mountain Valley High School. “For some reason, parents think they can call them out at the high school, and we have a high rate of kids that are signing out.”

The board also appointed John Perry of Mexico and Ryan Casey, the principal at Mountain Valley Middle School, as assistant football coaches at MVHS. Perry served last year as a volunteer for the MVHS football team and is a former MVHS football player.

Scott Holmes, director of buildings, grounds and transportation in RSU 10, speaks to the district’s board of directors Tuesday night at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. Rumford Falls Times photo by Marianne Hutchinson

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