Student enrollment in RSU 18 is down and will continue down for the next 10-plus years. Administration, teachers and other personnel are receiving a 3 percent raise. In a workshop session, principals said they would take the same raise as the superintendent, but the superintendent took no raise and the principals all took the 3 percent raise.

Last year, the RSU 18 budget went up 4.60 percent, this year it’s up 2.77 percent. In two years, the budget has gone up 7.37 percent.

At the presentation of the school warrant on May 7, a school board member amended Article 1 to lower it by $114,934 because the state was picking up that amount for charter schools. The audience, composed mostly of school employees, however, voted down the amendment.

Belgrade and Sidney town boards have gone on record not supporting the school budget. I think that’s a wise move when, according to Superintendent Gary Smith, taxes on a $100,000 home will go up $82.24 in Belgrade, $111.13 in China, $78.76 in Oakland, $32.99 in Rome and $119.12 in Sidney.

This budget of more than $34 million contains fluff that can go. I hope voters in RSU 18 will join me on May 19 in voting against this budget.

Sherry Gilbert


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