SKOWHEGAN — The School Administrative District 54 annual budget meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the gymnasium at Skowhegan Area High School.

Residents of the six district towns will be asked to vote on an overall budget of $32,894,711, which is $562,114 or 1.74 percent more than the current budget, which expires June 30. Tax assessments to the towns come in at $479,292, or 3.5 percent more than the current budget, according to SAD 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry.

The budget proposal includes cuts for 18 full- and part-time jobs to avoid a double-digit tax increase in district towns.

The cuts will be achieved by not filling vacancies left from retiring teachers and by reducing existing staff positions from full time to part time, with no actual layoffs.

Colbry said the school board trimmed about $1 million from the proposed budget in work sessions leading up to Tuesday’s district budget meeting.

Of the $1 million in cuts, $414,427 was found in not replacing staff members who are retiring. Those include three elementary school teachers, an elementary school social worker and a part-time nurse.

Positions that will not be filled, at a savings of $212,364, include a half-time physical education teacher, a three-quarter-time art teacher, a middle school alternative education teacher, and half-time business, mathematics and home economics teachers, Colbry said.

An additional $349,663 was removed in part by cutting the full-time adult education director to three-quarter time and taking $30,000 from the extracurricular budget and $50,000 from textbook purchases. Fuel and electricity savings and a new contract for bus services allowed for further reductions.

No salary increases are in the proposed budget.

The 2013-2014 assessments, including adult education, would increase in all six towns under the proposed budget:

* Canaan: $34,224

* Cornville: $26,681

* Norridgewock: $48,953

* Mercer: $13,638

* Skowhegan: $313,410

* Smithfield: $42,386

A referendum vote to validate the final budget is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, in each municipality.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]

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