FARMINGTON — The interim superintendent for Regional School Unit 9 on Tuesday presented the proposed $38.9 million budget for 2021-22 to district residents via Zoom.

Monique Poulin also shared the $477,406 adult education budget, which will appear as a separate article from the K-12 budget on town warrants.

About 44 people participated in the presentation and one asked if the school budget included an additional nurse for Mt. Blue High School in Farmington.

“There was a proposal for an additional school nurse at the high school, given needs, but also the impact of COVID and the numbers of students here,” Poulin said. “And it is something that will be processed through our ESSER 2 grant that Sue Pratt will be writing up in the next couple of weeks.

So the school nurse is in there and it’s a short-term funding; ESSER 2 will be requesting funding for that position for two years and we’ll need to think carefully about how to make that happen going forward if that’s what the district and the board choose to do,” she said. “But it’s in ESSER funding for the next two years.” 

Funds from ESSER, which stands for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, were established through the Education Stabilization Fund in the federal CARES Act and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

Appropriate use of the funds include coordination of COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts, providing mental health services and supports, and potentially covering costs of day care for staff members’ children, according to Maine’s Department of Education.

Grants Coordinator Sue Pratt said she hopes to present a draft of the district’s proposed items and positions to be funded by the second round of ESSER at the next board meeting April 27.

The board will also set the final budget at the April 27 meeting. On May 25 the board will hold a virtual budget hearing to review the information that will appear on ballots before the district’s 10 towns on June 8.

RSU 9 includes Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Starks, Temple, Vienna, Weld and Wilton.


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