WALES — Residents in Wales, Litchfield and Sabattus will have the opportunity at the Thursday school board meeting to ask questions, offer input and then take the first of two required votes on a revised budget for the upcoming school year for Regional School Unit 4.

After voters in all three towns overwhelmingly rejected the 2023-2024 budget in a June 13 referendum, the administration and school board members looked to identify further cuts to reduce the overall budget.

The administration and school board identified 12 line items in the budget considered priority one items — with the least amount of impact on the education of students — and three are considered priority two items — that may have an impact on students — for a total of $323,758.26. This puts the current revised budget for the upcoming school year at $22,129,406.56.

July 12 the board added a licensed practical nurse position to the general budget, replacing a planned registered nurse position which was to be funded with American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The school board will hold a public meeting and first vote on the revised budget Thursday starting at 6:30 p.m. at Oak Hill High School. If approved, the revised budget will be put to voters for a second required in an Aug. 15 referendum in all three towns.

The priority two cuts propose the elimination of an English Language Learners educational technician position and a Special Education educational technician position. ARPA funds will now pay for hardware and software.

Priority one items proposed for reduction include maintenance, a security key card system, supplies, books and tuition reimbursement.

Tom Wood, who volunteers as chair of the Litchfield Budget Committee, said he remains concerned about the lack of substantive justification for the budget from the school board and administration.

Superintendent Katy Grondin said she listened to Wood’s concern and has included explanations for the expenditures in a new letter which was mailed to all residents and is also available on the RSU 4 website.

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