AUGUSTA — Repairs to buildings and higher busing costs will prompt the Board of Education to consider approving two fund transfers Wednesday that total $221,000.

Board members also will consider changing an assistant principal’s position at Farrington Elementary School to a dean-of-students position, and a proposal to increase school meal prices by a nickel.

The two proposed fund transfers would make up for unanticipated expenses that arose last school year.

One transfer would move $153,000 in unspent funds from the regular instruction category to the transportation category, to cover the costs of busing expenses that ran higher than budgeted last year.

Last year, Augusta contracted with First Student to bus students, in a $2.15 million agreement.

Superintendent Cornelia Brown said bus route changes and stops being added back caused buses to run more miles than were budgeted or contracted for, to the point expenses exceeded the transportation budget.

State school funding law allows schools to transfer up to 5 percent of the total budget between budget categories. Augusta’s school budget last year was about $26 million.

Another proposed fund transfer would move $68,000 from the regular instruction category to the operations and maintenance category.

The transfer would help cover the cost of two major repairs which took place at Cony High School last year. The first was after the computer server room there overheated, which required changes to prevent that from occurring again. The other was repairs to a moveable wall in the Cony gym.

“We had problems with it last winter, when we had a lot of snow load pressing down, which bound up the wall so it wasn’t able to move freely,” Brown said.

Brown said the roof of the gym remains safe despite the snow load.

Board members meet in a public session Wednesday, starting at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Cony. It will be preceded by a closed-door session to discuss a personnel issue at 6 p.m.

They are also scheduled to:

* consider changing the assistant principal position at Farrington Elementary into a full-time dean-of-students position, a move expected to save about $13,000 a year;

* consider increasing school meal prices, from $1.75 to $1.80 in grades pre-kindergarten to six, and from $2 to $2.05 in grades seven through 12, in order to comply with new federal regulations;

* hear a presentation on potentially joining the New England Secondary School Consortium’s League of Innovative Schools; and

* consider accepting the resignations of staff members who are leaving for new jobs, including Barbara Nichols, director of school nutrition; Bonnie Nielson, gifted-and-talented teacher; and Joanna Higgins, fourth-grade teacher at Gilbert Elementary School.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]


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