Officials in Regional School Unit 3 expect to see a decrease in state subsidy for the 2014-2015 school year.

The district received a total of $$11,544,409 for the 2013-2014 school year and initial estimates indicate that amount will decrease to $11,214,964 for 2014-2015.

As the figures provided are just an estimate at this time, that amount could change.

Superintendent Heather Perry said that while those numbers could change, officials are still anticipating a reduction in the amount of subsidy the district receives.

According to the state, RSU 3 is slated to receive nearly $100,000 less in its special education allocation.

Perry said the reduction in the special education allocation is due to the way the state calculates the funding. She said the district receives a per pupil amount of 126 percent of the Essential Programs and Services allocation for each special education student up to a maximum of 15 percent of the total student population.

Once the district exceeds the 15-percent cap, RSU 3 receives a per pupil amount equivalent to 38 percent of the EPS.

On average, Perry said the district's special education percentage hovers between 21 percent and 23 percent of the total student population.

The district saw a decline of 25 students in its overall population, Perry said, which in turn increased the percentage of special education students in RSU 3. Therefore, more special education students fell above the 15-percent threshold, which meant the district was receiving the lower 38-percent per pupil allocation for those students.

Perry said that lower per-pupil allocation can be a difference of 5,200 at the elementary level and as much as $5,600 at the secondary level.

On a more positive note, Perry said the recent passage of the fiscal year 2014 supplemental budget in the legislature means there will not be any additional curtailments in subsidy to the schools.

The district is also expecting reductions in the allocation it receives for the Waldo County Technical Center and for transportation.Finally, she said the minimum mil expectation of 7.86 in 2013-2014 will increase to 8.07 for 2014-2015, which increases the required local contribution.

Last year, the district received $196,425 from the state after the 2013-2014 budget was already passed. Because the budget was already approved, the district could not use the money to lower assessments in the current school year budget. A last minute effort by lawmakers to enact emergency legislation that would have allowed the money to be applied in the 2013-2014 budget failed to garner the required 2/3 vote in the House of Representatives.

Had the legislation passed, RSU 3 town-assessment increases would have been reduced from $291,781 to $95,781 for the 2013-2014 school year budget.

Perry said the district will be applying the entire $196,425 allocation to the 2014-2015 budget to help offset town assessments.

There are two more budget workshops scheduled for March 24 and March 31.