LEWISTON — The School Committee and City Council will meet Monday to work on the proposed school budget, which as of Wednesday included an 8% increase over the current year.

The workshop is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and will be held by videoconference. You can view the meeting by clicking on the YouTube button on the district’s website.

Superintendent Jake Langlais presented a $94.8 million spending plan March 3 that included a 6.99% increase.

The School Committee’s recent adjustments, including reinstating some positions mistakenly eliminated by Langlais, brought the total to $95.09 million.

Chief Administrative Officer Bobbi Avery said last week that the adjusted budget was $7.24 million higher than the 1920-21 budget. The impact on the property tax rate would be $1.99 per $1,000 of valuation, she said, adding, “If my calculations are right.”

Langlais said Wednesday that he would further adjust the plan to make room for the reinstatements.

“I will make sure those items are neutral, at the end of the day,” he said.

He said March 3 that his proposed budget “will not meet the needs of our learners,” but he could not take a bigger increase to voters.

The bulk of the increase is in contracted salaries and benefits, debt service for the voter-approved Lewiston High School expansion and technology needs.

Langlais said he focused on the goals of planning for the district’s most vulnerable students and remediating the impacts of the pandemic on academics, he said.

The committee is set to adopt its budget April 5 and to present to the City Council on April 13. The spending plan must be approved by at least five of the seven councilors before it goes to voters.


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