SUMNER — Regional School Unit 10 may be getting $1.77 million more in state money for 2020-21, Superintendent Deb Alden told the school board Monday night.

Preliminary state budget figures for Maine Department of Education funds show RSU 10 receiving $14.5 million in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, compared to $12.73 million this year.

“They’re still working on some other parts of the budget at the state level so we’re hopeful that this doesn’t change too much because the numbers are relatively positive in the right direction,” Alden said.

Another financial benefit is the district’s decision to join eight others, collectively known as the Western Maine Educational Consortium, to regionalize programs and services to benefit students. Preliminary results give the district an additional $104,128 from the state.

In other business, the board discussed a districtwide problem of acquiring and retaining substitute teachers. Alden said representatives from the Maine Department of Education were meeting this week with some RSU 10 administrators willing to take part in a public service announcement meant to assist in generating substitute teachers statewide.

“It’s an issue everywhere in the state and for whatever reason in (Hartford-Sumner Elementary School),” where there are almost no substitutes, Alden said.

Director Travis Palmer of Rumford, who serves on the Personnel Committee, told the board educational technician substitutes are paid $84 a day and teacher substitutes are paid from $84 to $90.75 a day, depending on their teaching experience.

He said the committee has been trying to find ways to attract and retain more substitute teachers.

The minimum amount of education required to substitute teach in the RSU 10 “is less than two years of college or a high school graduate, but that is rare,” Palmer said.

In other news, the district’s four snow days puts the last day of school to June 11, Alden said.


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