FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 board of directors voted unanimously Tuesday, April 26, to send the district’s $39.99 million budget for the 2022-23 school year to voters Tuesday, May 24.

Voters that day will also decide on a $508,652 budget for Franklin County Adult Basic Education.

The nearly $40 million spending plan will fund schools serving Farmington, Chesterville, Wilton, Temple, Industry, New Sharon, Weld, New Vineyard, Starks and Vienna.

Superintendent Chris Elkington originally proposed a $40.09 million budget, which was presented at the board’s April 12 meeting and community forum.

He said in a previous interview that the $1.23 million increase from 2021-22 was due to multiple factors, including inflation, higher costs of living and preparations to implement the district’s 10-year strategic plan.

The board and administration anticipates the strategic plan will be finalized and approved by the end of the 2021-22 school year. The 2022-23 budget will set the district up to formally begin implementation in future budgets, Elkington had said.


Elkington explained Tuesday night that multiple changes plus corrections causing increases and reductions led to a -0.26% change in the budget ultimately approved by the board.

The significant factors decreasing the budget include a confirmed change in projected health insurance costs and corrected guidance/social worker costs – resulting in a cumulative $234,000 reduction.

Elkington said that he has gotten confirmation from Anthem/Blue Cross that projected increases will be around 5.74% – as opposed to the 10% increase he was previously anticipating. This has lowered the budget by $160,000, he said.

The two significant factors that added costs to the budget were two bus lease payments left out of the initial draft and the addition of another teacher at Cape Cod Hill School – adding $108,000.

Elkington said another teacher is needed at Cape Cod Hill School in New Sharon due to projected class sizes in grades two and three. The district is projecting two second grade classes of 18 students and one third grade class of 27.

As it stands, another teacher will be brought in for another third-grade or combined second-third-grade class. Elkington told the board this will be decided when the number of students for the next school year is more certain.


Administration was already proposing a teaching position in the budget for a situation of this nature. However, Elkington told the board this new teacher will be added alongside the if-needed position.

Ultimately, $100,703 was trimmed from the last presentation to a final proposal.

The new, board-approved budget results in a $1.13 million increase from the 2021-22 budget.

It will come at a $13.78 million cost to taxpayers across the district, which is an $85,176 increase from 2021-22. The initial proposal would have been a $185,879 increase to taxpayers.

Voters will have the opportunity May 24 to vote on warrant articles for the 11 expenditure categories at the annual budget meeting in the auditorium at Mt. Blue Campus. The figures approved then will go before voters for a final vote in each of the 10 towns Tuesday, June 14.

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