Region 9 School of Applied Technology fire science students and their instructor, Jon Longley, pose Thursday during a lesson on the school grounds in Mexico. Rumford Falls Times photo by Marianne Hutchinson

MEXICO — The board of directors has approved a $2.3 million budget for the Region 9 School of Applied Technology for 2019-20. It’s a 5.2 percent increase from the current year.

Factors for the higher budget are $246,000 in construction debt, $20,965 for a bus, health insurance increases, an updated staff pay scale, and higher costs for day-to-day operations, Gammon said.

The Adult Education budget is $369,294 for 2019-20, up $10,366 from the current year.

Both budgets will go to voters who support Region 9 at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, at the school at 377 River Road. The towns are Rumford, Mexico, Roxbury, Hanover, Bethel, Newry, Woodstock, Greenwood, Dixfield, Canton, Carthage, Peru, Andover, Byron, Gilead and Upton.

This fiscal year was the first that Maine’s tech schools directly received state funding in the form of Essential Programs and Services. However, for 2019-20 Region 9 is getting $116,102 less, Director Brenda Gammon said Thursday.

“The lower amount received from the state is due to lower enrollment at Region 9,” she said. “It hit a lot of us hard. A stakeholder group is working right now in Augusta trying to figure out the tweaks that need to be made in the EPS formula.”

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