LEWISTON — Lewiston School Committee members Monday decided to cut $500,000 from the $111.47 million budget voters rejected last week.

Committee members were initially split between proposing reductions or sending the 2024-25 proposal back to voters as is, hoping more will turn out and approve it or give more feedback on it.

The budget was rejected by 3.9% of voters. The vote was 395-743 against it.

Going into the meeting, Superintendent Jake Langlais proposed several possible areas to cut totaling just over $1.04 million. Those cuts included:

• $200,000 less for technology that would impact students’ access to adequate devices.

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• $141,000 less in student resource staffing that would impact funding to resources such as the Store Next Door.

• $75,000 less for a new student resource officer.

• $300,000 less for resources to grow specialized programming related to growing the special education program.

• $300,000 less for positions, which were originally funded by the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Act.

• $25,000 less for the central office.

No members wanted to make cuts but some felt obligated to.

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Some thought adding a fourth school resource officer was important, while others thought it could be cut and instead keeping staff who work more directly with educating students.

All thought it was important to invest in the special education program because it would save money in the long run by bringing more students at special purpose private schools back into the district.

Three members of the public spoke in favor of more cuts.

Lisa Jones said she wanted to hear more specific information about what will be affected by the proposed budget cuts in each category presented by school administrators.

Ron Potvin said voters rejected the additional funding items, not expenses important to school operations.

Eventually, Langlais proposed cutting $500,000: $100,000 in technology; $85,000 for a teacher coach position; $150,000 in the special education, slowing the rollout of the expanded program; $25,000 from the Central Office; and $140,000 from the school department’s fund balance.

The committee voted for the proposal, which will go to the City Council for a vote and possible recommended changes by councilors. It would go to voters June 11.

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