DIXFIELD — The $12.97 million budget proposed for Regional School Unit 56 maintains all programming from 2019-20 and reestablishes the music program at Dirigo High School, Superintendent Pam Doyen announced Tuesday’s public hearing.

The proposal is $260,000 more than the fiscal year budget that ended June 30 and represents a 2.02% increase.

The music program was cut three years ago to save money.

Assessments to three of the four district towns will drop, Doyen said, because there will be more money from the state, a total of $6.32 million, and money from the district’s partnership in a regional service center.

Canton, Dixfield and Peru would see lower assessments, while Carthage’s contribution would go up by almost 23% because of its windmill wind power projects, the superintendent said.

Doyen said Business Manager Mary Dailey determined that $1.3 million would have to be cut from the budget to keep town assessments at current levels.

“It’s just really not possible,” Doyen said. “We would just decimate the district if we tried to do that.”

She also cited fixed costs such as salaries, benefits and fuel.

“Most of our groups in their collective bargaining agreement will receive a 2% increase going into the 2020-21 school year,” except teachers who will get a 3% raise.

Other items in the budget include:

• An Interact Club sponsored by Rotary International to encourage community service and develop leadership skills for T.W. Kelly Dirigo Middle School students.

• A six-hour-a-day van driver to take students to Margaret Murphy centers in Auburn in the mornings and afternoons.

• A part-time social worker at Dirigo Elementary School in Peru.

The budget vote will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 14 at the Canton Town Office, Carthage Town Office, Dixfield American Legion Hall and the Peru Town Office.

[email protected]

RSU 56 logo. RSU 56 Facebook page.


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