Voters in Regional School Unit 71 went to the polls for the annual budget validation vote today and the school budget was approved by a majority in all five municipalities in the district.

The total budget of $28,019,030, is up 2.35% from the previous budget of $27,021,744, a difference of $997,285.

Superintendent Mary Alice McLean said there were several factors that enabled the board to create a proposed budget with such a "modest" increase. She cited better-than-expected state funding to the district, exceptional fiscal restraint on part of the district, and analysis of class size policy, which led to consolidated classes at several schools.

She also noted that thanks to resignations and retirements, there was "no reduction in force and all staff members kept their jobs."

Additions to the 2019-20 RSU 71 budget include an assistant principal at Capt. Albert W. Stevens School, an elementary school nurse, a guidance counselor, a world language teacher at Troy Howard Middle School, a full-time guidance administrative assistant at Belfast Area High School, a full-time English teacher at BAHS, paving at THMS, purchase of a new school bus and the lease of one new bus, a full-time maintenance position, an assistant mechanic, a lease program replacing cleaning equipment at all schools, two speech pathologists, three occupational therapists, and the first principal payment on the high school renovation project.

Below are results from each municipality.