FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 board of directors Tuesday asked for several revised budgets for 2020-21, including one that has a part-time assistant superintendent position and one that does not.

The proposal presented for a vote Tuesday was $38.48 million.

Superintendent Tina Meserve conducted a survey of similar-sized districts and noted that the majority of them had an assistant superintendent.

“I know that it’s never a popular thing to add administration, particularly when we are facing challenges,” Meserve said. “The needs are even greater as we deal with all the procedures regarding COVID.”

The board expressed concerns regarding the proposed position and some members said they would rather see the money distributed to services and resources directly related to students.

“I think that the load that Tina is carrying is immense,” board member Debbie Smith of Weld said. “I want to support that position, but I think we really need to look at the needs of the students.”

The cancellation of summer school will cut $47,000 from the originally proposed budget.

“We have made a decision not to hold summer school because of the COVID reality that we are all facing,” Meserve said. 

Rather than pass the proposed budget for public review, board members requested that Meserve return with several revised versions that would reflect the budget with and without the assistant superintendent position. 

Meserve will also make revised versions of the budget to include a drug counselor position, and funding to maintain the Success and Innovation Center, which is in its last year of grant funding. 

Several board members feared potentially negative impacts if SIC was discontinued because the program provides resources for adapting to remote learning and supports students who are facing challenging home environments. 

The alternative budget proposals will be presented to the board Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. 

The board approved a first draft for the drug and alcohol testing for passenger van/car drivers policy. The board meeting Tuesday will resume discussion of the scheduled agenda items that were not covered, school calendar changes and executive sessions.


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