SALEM TOWNSHIP — Taxpayers in School Administrative District 58 are scheduled to vote Tuesday evening on a school budget that represents a 3.5 percent increase to current spending.

The meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m. at Mt. Abram High School.

SAD 58 includes Strong, Phillips, Kingfield and Avon. Their school-related taxes would be increased based on the state’s assessed valuation for each community.

The school district will ask the four towns to approve a total of $2.7 million as their share of the coming year’s budget, which would allow SAD 58 to receive $6.7 million in state funding.

The SAD 58 district currently enrolls 466 resident students and receives tuition payments for the 141 students who live outside the four towns.

Voters also will vote by written ballot on the almost $1.6 million by which the district’s proposed budget exceeds the Maine Department of Education’s budget model.

The MDOE budget will not subsidize co-curricular activities, athletics, student transportation, special education, non-state funded debt service or operation and maintenance costs.  Those costs have to be paid by the district and approved by voters each year.

In her summary report to the district’s communities, Superintendent Susan Pratt said the district’s 17 cost centers have increased or decreased due to staff changes, retirements, salaries and benefits.

Scott LeHay, director of facilities and maintenance, said the high school is 50 years old and requires a long-term plan to address issues.

The board has also recommended voters approve the district’s joining the Western Maine Regional Service Center. By joining an MDOE-approved regional cost-sharing program, the district would gain an estimated $33,000 in state subsidies in the next fiscal year. SAD 58 will continue as a member of the Western Maine Education Collaborative, which shares costs already with several districts.

The school board’s proposed budget year begin July 1. The total 2019-20 budget figure approved by voters on May 28 will go to voters in the four towns Tuesday, June 11. Polls will be open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Annual share to the district:             2018-19             2019-20 (proposed)             Percent increase

Avon:                                                   $484,083           $529,780                              9.44

Phillips                                                 $983,227           $1,062,922                           8.11

Kingfield                                              $1,549,681         $1,636,905                         5.63

Strong                                                  $1,013,348          $1,091,653                         7.73

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