With state aid unknown, RSU 3 sets to work on next year's budget

By Ben Holbrook | Feb 14, 2017
Source: File Image

Regional School Unit 3 directors are scheduled to meet several times in coming weeks as they begin creating a budget for the 2017-18 school year.

Superintendent Paul Austin said the district is a little behind on developing a budget this year, mostly because there is significant uncertainty about state funding levels. However, he said administrators and directors are still going to work on a budget and will make adjustments as necessary once state funding amounts are known.

"We'll have to wait and find out what the state is going to do,” Austin said.

Last year, residents approved a budget totaling $20,259,000, which represented an increase of 1.43 percent over the previous year's budget. That resulted in towns seeing an increase of 4.59 percent in their local assessments. District officials attributed that increase in assessments to reductions in state subsidy and an increase in the mil rate.

Included in the 2016-17 budget was an additional grade three-five teacher at Troy Elementary School because of increased enrollment, a K-five social worker and a half-time educational technician to work with English Language Learner students.

Residents approved the budget 384 in favor to 205 opposed. Knox was the lone town to vote down the budget.

As always, Austin said the challenge with creating a budget is finding the balance between what students need and what taxpayers can bear.

The board of directors will be holding budget workshops March 20 and 27 in Room M111 at the Mount View Complex. If necessary, a third workshop will be held April 3 in Room M111. Those meetings are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Directors will also be meeting with municipal officers April 6 to discuss the budget. That meeting will be held in Room M111 beginning at 6 p.m.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for May 24 at 6 p.m. in the Mount View Complex middle school gymnasium. The budget referendum will be held June 13.

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