RUMFORD — Regional School Unit 10 is facing significant increases in fixed costs and tuition payments in 2020-21, officials told directors this week.

This year’s budget, which covers operations through June 30, is $27.9 million, Business Manager Leah Kaulback said. Based on fixed costs, the coming budget is $29.97 million, she said, but a final figure has not been determined. Therefore, assessments to Rumford, Mexico, Roxbury, Buckfield, Sumner, Hartford and Hanover are unknown.

Fixed costs include salaries, which are $14.96 million this year, compared to $15.42 million in the proposed 2020-21 budget.

Tuition payments for special education students served outside RSU 10 were $335,214 in 2018-19. For the coming fiscal year, they are budgeted at $771,800, Kaulback said.

Tuition paid for Hanover students to attend schools outside RSU 10 was $214,046 in 2018-19. For the coming fiscal year, the tuition budget is $298,600, according to Kaulback.

The estimated funding from the state is $14.6 million for the coming fiscal year, which is $1.27 million more than this year.

“Why is it that we received more funding from the state yet we’re seeing a percentage increase throughout the towns?” Director Travis Palmer of Rumford asked.

Superintendent Deb Alden said the preliminary budget for 2020-21 includes “all of the salary increases that have been all negotiated in all of the contracts,” plus an estimated 10% increase for health insurance.

She said the actual cost of employee health insurance won’t be known until April.

The additional money for tuition is another reason the budget is expected to increase, she said.

Hanover students can choose which school they want to attend because a legal agreement was made with the town years ago to keep Hanover in the district, Alden said.

In another budget-related issue, the board extended Alden’s contract to 2023 and approved a raise.

The exact amount of the raise has not been decided, Kaulback said.

Alden’s annual salary is $117,875.


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