LISBON — The Town Council voted 6-0 Tuesday night to approve the $19 million school budget proposed by Lisbon school officials.

“During this budget season, everyone did an excellent job,” Councilor Raymond Robishaw said, thanking school officials for their efforts.

The proposed budget is a 5% increase from the current spending plan and 70% of the increase is due to rising salary and benefits costs, according to Superintendent Richard Green.

Under the proposal, the local share will increase by $317,218, or 4.2%, however the estimated tax rate increase is not yet available.

Included in the budget is an additional third grade teacher, a fifth grade teacher, middle school literacy specialist, a high school math teacher and a third prekindergarten teacher.

Residents will have the final say on the budget in a referendum June 14.


In other news, the council voted 8-0 to allow Police Chief/interim Town Manager Ryan McGee to apply for a federal grant program to help fund a second school resource officer.

The Community Oriented Policing Services grant would cover 75% of the new officer’s pay, up to $41,667 each year, for three years. The town would need to assume full responsibility for paying the officer’s salary and benefits beginning in the fourth year.

“Protecting students and staff from threats of violence is a primary component of a SRO’s role,” McGee said. “Having a sworn law enforcement officer available at the school diminishes critical response time when a violent incident or other emergency occurs.”

McGee told councilors that feeling safe is connected to achieving educational outcomes for students, including more engagement, higher academic achievement and lower rates of absenteeism. Educators who feel safe are more likely to remain in their positions and are better equipped to teach and support students, he added.

If the grant is approved, McGee said he hopes to fill the position with a current Lisbon police officer then hire a new patrol officer. The department has 14 officers with one vacancy.

The earliest the officer could start would be the fall of 2023.

The second resource officer would be under the jurisdiction of the Police Department and would also be involved with community policing programs outside of school hours and during school breaks.

Previously, the town had two resource officers covering three schools, McGee said. The town has one resource officer covering four schools.

“One SRO covering a school district of our size and population just isn’t conducive to maximizing our potential,” he said.

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