ORONO – The local appropriation being requested for RSU 26 is down $51,000 from the current year.

The total budget is for $14.19 million, with a total local share of $6.82 million, according to Superintendent Meredith Higgins. Helping keep the local share down is an addition $500,000 in state funding, which helped offset cost of living and benefit increases and the loss of revenues in some areas, such as fewer international students.

“The increase in expenditures is about 3 percent, but the increase in taxes will be 0 percent said Higgins. “Our goal was to hold the line on taxes; that’s a lot easier when the state funds education at adequate levels. The governor’s budget recognizes that education has been suffering for years from a lack of funding.”

Higgins terms the budget as one that school staff can work with.

“It’s a good working budget,” she said. “Some sacrifices were made to get there, but they’re workable. They allow us to maintain the quality of education in Orono.

The annual district budget meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on May 14 in the Orono High School cafeteria.

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