AUBURN — The superintendent’s proposed school budget would result in a 13.9% local increase, and that’s too much for the School Committee.

The panel agreed Wednesday night to cut $1.3 million from the proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2021.

The proposal includes an overall $2.97 million increase. It would cost $1.67 million to maintain positions and programs.

And that’s what the committee wants to do.

“We know the number is high and will never be approved by the City Council,” member Faith Fontaine said. “I know these are needs and not wants, but the community cannot afford it.”

Superintendent Katy Grondin said cutting more than $1 million would mean cutting positions.

“You’ll never get there nickel and diming through the budget,” she said.

The committee will meet Monday with the City Council, which must approve the spending plan.

Each committee member will send suggestions for cuts to Grondin and Business Manager Adam Hanson.

“You’ll see it’s not an easy task to get there,” Grondin told the committee. “It’s hard decisions and we might not end up there. We want to do what’s right for the kids of Auburn.”

The budget by the numbers:

  • The proposed budget is $48.36 million, a 6.5% increase over last year.
  • The state subsidy increase is $365,000, much lower than the $1 million in recent years.
  • The special education increase is close to $900,000.
  •  New positions total $514,000.
  • The total local share is $20.17 million, an increase of $2.46 million.
  • The school tax rate would increase from $9.15 per $1,000 of property value to $10.41.
  •  Annual taxes on a $150,000 property would increase $190.

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