Voters in several central Maine school districts went to the polls Tuesday to vote on budgets for 2014-15.

AUGUSTA

The school budget passed by a landslide margin, 2,011 to 494. That means 80.3 percent of voters favored the budget, according to unofficial results.

The budget is $27.7 million. The district would spend $282,787 more than this year, an increase of 1 percent.

The budget includes just a few new expenses, including an elementary math curriuclum and more time for nursing and guidance at Hussey Elementary.

The local tax appropriation for the school department will be $12.2 million, up by 3.4 percent.

The combined municipal and school budget increases taxes by $52 on a $100,000 home.

RSU 2

Approval in four communities was strong enough to overcome Monmouth’s rejection of the $25.4 million budget and $1.5 million capital improvement bond.

Overall, 62 percent of RSU 2 voters approved the budget and 61 percent were in favor of the bond, according to results from clerks and school board Chairwoman Dawn Gallagher.

Monmouth voted down the budget 364 no to 324 yes and the bond 387 no to 307 yes.

The vote in favor of the budget in the other communities was 172-72 in Dresden, 215-83 in Farmingdale, 361-103 in Hallowell and 323-227 in Richmond.

On the bond, the vote in favor was 149-97 in Dresden, 216-88 in Farmingdale, 380-82 in Hallowell and 309-235 in Richmond.

The budget is $941,574 higher than this year’s, or 3.8 percent more.

The RSU proposed hiring four additional teachers, a behavior specialist and a family liaison. The budget also includes more laptops and construction planning for a possible future project in Monmouth.

The annual tax increase on a $100,000 home would be $70 in Dresden, $80 in Farmingdale, $70 in Hallowell, $70 in Monmouth and $90 in Richmond.

RSU 4

RSU 4’s $18.2 million budget passed 54.6 percent to 45.4 percent. The budget is $494,373 higher than this year’s, an increase of 2.8 percent.

The vote was 213-155 in Litchfield, 171-168 in Sabattus and 100-80 in Wales.

The budget increase was driven by higher health insurance premiums, the addition of two special education positions and the need to pay up front for behavioral and health services that are largely reimbursed by the state.

Litchfield’s annual tax increase is estimated at $90 on a $100,000 home. The tax increase on the same value home would be $114 in Sabattus and $78 in Wales.

RSU 11

The $22.4 million budget passed by wide margins in all of RSU 11’s municipalities.

The budget was approved in Gardiner 441-208, in Pittston 149-74, in Randolph 125-62 and in West Gardiner 252-138. The overall margin in favor was 66.7 percent to 33.3 percent.

The budget increases spending by $946,000, or 4.4 percent.

The district will buy new curriculum materials and add teachers at Pittston Consolidated School, at Gardiner Area High School and to the gifted and talented program.

For a $100,000 home, the local budget contribution translates to a tax increase of $32 in Gardiner, $33 in Pittston, $23 in Randolph and $44 in West Gardiner.

RSU 12

Three of RSU 12’s seven towns reported results Tuesday night on the first post-Wiscasset budget, which totals $19.7 million.

Alna approved the budget 35-13, Chelsea 126-67 and Whitefield 121-55.

The budget scales back central office staffing to complement the district’s smaller size.

RSU 12 no longer has to pay to run Wiscasset’s expensive, underpopulated schools, but it does have to pay much more in tuition for Alna and Westport Island students to continue attending Wiscasset’s schools.

Alna’s contribution would decrease by 2.1 percent, Chelsea’s by 1.7 percent, Westport Island’s by 12.1 percent and Whitefield’s by 2 percent. Palermo would pay 5 percent more, Somerville 5.3 percent more and Windsor 6.8 percent more.

RSU 38

Full results were not available late Tuesday night for RSU 38’s $15.6 million budget, which decreases spending by 0.7 percent.

Readfield approved the budget 406-263.

The district is saving money by eliminating two teachers and two education technicians, reducing time for art and music at elementary schools and raising student fees for high school and middle school activities.

The amount to be contributed by each town will rise by 1.4 percent for Manchester, 0.8 percent for Mount Vernon, 1.6 percent for Readfield and 3.9 percent for Wayne.

WINTHROP

Winthrop Public Schools’ $10.3 million budget, which increases spending by 3.3 percent, passed by a wide margin.

Superintendent Gary Rosenthal said the vote was approximately 550-225.

The contribution by local taxpayers will rise by 5.3 percent, amounting to a tax increase of $50 on a $100,000 home.

New staff spending in the budget includes an additional kindergarten teacher, five more education technicians in special education and an education technician to assist struggling students at Winthrop Middle School.

The district will also buy new textbooks, both print and digital, and must pay higher health insurance premiums.

Susan McMillan — 621-5645

[email protected]

Twitter: @s_e_mcmillan


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