FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 officials presented the district’s proposed $38.9 million budget to the community during a public hearing Tuesday night.

Interim Superintendent Monique Poulin explained the 2021-22 spending plan on which residents are expected to vote June 8.

Due to social-distancing concerns, the public hearing took the place of the budget meeting, at which community members would normally gather to vote on the articles in person.

Although the overall budget is set at $38.9 million, with an additional $477,406 for adult education, it will cost taxpayers across the 10 towns in the district $13.7 million, a $397.300 increase, or 2.99%, to current spending.

Poulin said the increase is attributable, in part, to overall state aid being reduced this year, and the district has “had to make up some of the difference with our assessments to local communities.”

The percentage a town contributes to the school budget is based on town valuations determined by the state, Poulin said.


At a previous meeting, Poulin said some of the goals of this year’s budget were to address the health and safety of the RSU 9 community, safely increase on-site learning and bolster staff support and retention through competitive wages.

Poulin also presented other articles on the RSU 9 budget warrant: Article 3 would authorize the school board “to use all or part of the additional state subsidy to increase expenditures for school purposes … and/or decrease the local cost share expectations” if “RSU receives more state education subsidy than the amount included in its budget.”

This article is especially relevant this year because Gov. Janet Mills has proposed an increase of the state’s share of public school funding to 55% of essential service costs in the state budget. Poulin reported the district could receive a “potential increase of $800,000” in state funding due to this change.

While the hearing was intended for public comment and questions alongside the presentation, no one spoke.

It was business as usual for the RSU 9 board of directors during its biweekly meeting that followed the budget hearing.

The board approved new hires to replace some of the 20 staff members across the district who are retiring this year.

The board also voted to pass a change in graduation requirements on half-credit courses that will make way for more diverse history courses at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington.

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