04 May School Board Opts for $3.1M Budget (ME)May 4, 2010
By: Erin RhodaSource: Morning Sentinel
School Administrative District 13 board members finalized Wednesday a 2010-11 proposed budget, which includes no layoffs but does request a substantial cut to a special education director’s salary.
The $3.1 million proposed budget is down 2 percent from last year.
"It’s very conservative," Superintendent Kenneth Smith told the board Wednesday night. "I think it puts you right on the edge."
Residents will vote on the budget in a two-step process, which includes a school district budget meeting May 27 and a referendum "yes or no" vote June 8.
The $3,091,421 proposed budget is down $62,329 from this school year. That reduction comes from cutting a special education director’s salary and small amounts taken from various line items.
Board members voted Wednesday to reduce the special education director’s salary and benefits by $20,315 and reduce the position to two days per week, instead of three. The director’s salary is now proposed at $30,000, with $5,000 in benefits.
The vote came after Smith told the board it was "foolish" to reduce the amount. He said the district needs someone more than two days, especially since special education students make up 23 percent of the district’s total student population. Out of 244 students in the district, 57 are in special education.
And, it might be difficult to find a qualified person to work only two days, he said.
"You may not have to (spend the full amount), but you have to budget for it," he said.
SAD 13 currently shares a special education director with neighboring Anson-based SAD 74. But SAD 74’s termination of its interlocal agreement in February means SAD 13 must hire its own special education director for next year.
The termination of the interlocal agreement — in which the two districts also share a superintendent — cuts back the superintendent position to two days per week next year. Smith, who has one year remaining on his contract, is slated to earn $40,400 next year, which is $45,296 less than this year.
The district will receive $178,980 less in state subsidy next year. It also faces increased teacher salary and benefits costs. Savings come partially from the following: one teacher at the high school is retiring and will not be replaced; the district has paid off its copier lease, so it does not have that expense; it has cut funds for instructional supplies and books; and it has reduced fuel costs.