WALES — After a two-month pandemic delay, Regional School Unit 4’s directors approved a nearly $19.6 million budget for 2020-21 and will send it to voters in July.

The board voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve a budget for the next school year. The spending plan is about $428,000 more than the current $19.1 million budget.

Salaries and benefits account for most of that increase, according to Superintendent Andrew Carlton.

“While I know this represents an increase to the communities, the board trimmed this budget down from the beginning to try and mitigate the impact as much as possible given the uncertainties we are all facing currently with state revenues,” he said. “This budget keeps in place all of our current programming.  There was significant discussion about adding some new positions to work with teachers and with students, but at this time the board felt like this was too big of an ask for our taxpayers.  I believe this is a very responsible budget and will allow us to continue to do the amazing work our educators do daily now and into the future.”

The school system, which includes Sabattus, Litchfield and Wales, typically holds a school board vote on the budget in April, a district meeting on the budget in May and a referendum on it in June. That timeline has been disrupted by COVID-19 and the state’s order for people to stay home.

The governor is allowing school systems to skip district budget meetings, that intermediate step between the board vote and referendum. RSU 4’s proposed budget will go straight to referendum on July 14.

Superintendent Andrew Carlton said the school system will post budget information online before the referendum and will accept public comment on it through the RSU 4 website.



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