FARMINGTON — Superintendent Tina Meserve told Regional School Unit 9 Board of Directors that the district may receive less state funding for the 2021-2022 school year.

In her report Tuesday night, Meserve assured the board that there would be no financial losses to this school year’s funding, but next year has a projected, worst-case scenario of a $1.2 million curtailment.

One of the reasons for this possible decrease is due to the district’s vacant positions, she said.

There are currently 22 educational technician positions and two gifted and talented teacher positions that need to be filled. The district receives subsidies for these positions but when they are vacant, RSU 9 looses that additional funding and has to compensate for them in its own budget.

On the state Department of Education website, it explains that “in order to calculate the funding for each school administrative unit, specific data must be collected from each district regarding students, staff, and actual expenditure information.” Meaning, unfilled positions equate to less expenditures.

Meserve said that the district has been preparing for an eventual funding loss and that she does not anticipate having to resort to layoffs or tax increases to satisfy future funding losses.

During the superintendent’s report, Meserve also addressed her decision to allow the children of select district employees to attend in-person classes five days a week rather than follow RSU 9’s hybrid model. Her decision was in response to retaining district employees who were facing childcare challenges.

After receiving push back for this decision by community members, Meserve said that the district will be seeking funding and additional options to offer RSU 9 parents with childcare options if the hybrid model is posing an economic hardship.

On another topic, Meserve reported that there are currently 70 students unaccounted for that are not enrolled at RSU 9 and are not registered as receiving home school instruction. The district is required to notify the Department of Health and Human Services about unaccounted students if guardians do not provide documentation of their child’s status.

Adult Education Director Nancy Allen announced that the department is now offering community support days on Thursdays. The adult education program offers free support with technology troubleshooting and career advising by appointment. Support services also include remote workshops such as a Zoom writing class.

Those interested should call the adult education program at 207-778-3460.

In other business, the Board approved new policies regarding unlawful harassment and sexual harassment of students, and Title IX sexual harassment complaint procedures.


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