Regional School Unit 20 officials are pleased the 2017-18 budget passed by a wide margin and are hopeful the state will allocate more funding for education.

In Searsport, the $10,097,616 budget passed by a vote of 103 in favor to 27 opposed. Neighboring Stockton Springs also approved the budget with a vote of 222 in favor to 149 opposed. On June 16, Board of Directors Chairman Tony Bagley said he was happy with the vote and also with how many people turned out to cast ballots, particularly in Stockton Springs.

With the budget approved, school officials are now waiting to see what lawmakers will do regarding additional education funding. Bagley said discussions are now underway and he anticipates lawmakers will provide more state subsidy. However, how much more, if any, is unknown at this time.

In the event more money is available, district officials can tap those additional funds even though their budget is already approved. During past discussions, officials have indicated if the district receives more state funding than projected, that money will be used to reduce local assessments.

Interim superintendent

Board members voted June 14 to hire Raymond Freve as interim superintendent. Bagley said the district has to hire an interim superintendent because current Superintendent Chris Downing is retiring so that he can be re-hired on a part-time basis — a move he recommended to help the district save money.

Freve’s term runs from July 1 to July 31.