SKOWHEGAN — Residents of the six-town of School Administrative District 54 approved the school budget for the coming year in a validation referendum vote in each town. The final tally was yes, 746; no, 424.

Voting results Tuesday:

• Canaan: Yes, 26. No, 35.

• Cornville: Yes, 24. No, 5.

• Mercer: Yes, 14. No, 16.

• Norridgewock: Yes, 58. No, 13.


• Skowhegan: Yes, 587. No, 339.

• Smithfield: Yes, 36. No, 16.

Spending in the 2015-16 budget will increase about $356,000, or about 1 percent to a total of $34,205,187. The new budget takes effect July 1. Voters from the six towns approved the budget at the district meeting May 26.

Local allocations, or taxes paid to support the budget beyond what the state provides, will increase $50,290, or 0.35 percent, to be spread over the district towns of Canaan, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock, Skowhegan and Smithfield. Skowhegan’s projected share of the overall budget will be down to 66.85 percent from 67.19 percent because of the lower tax valuation of the Sappi paper mill.

The other five district towns will pick up the difference, with Norridgewock shouldering the lion’s share of the $50,290 local increase. The district will save $964,000 that had been earmarked for charter school tuition and transportation for students living in SAD 54 who attend charter schools. But the Legislature passed a bill taking the charter school tuition money out of state aid for all local districts in Maine.

The elimination of $964,000 in charter school tuition and associated transportation costs in the school budget for the coming year will be offset in part by added costs in special education, school bus purchases and pay raises for teachers and district administrators, including Superintendent Brent Colbry.


The new budget also includes hikes in health insurance and a 13 percent increase in payments into the Maine State Retirement System, a cost that the state has been shifting to the cities and towns.

There also are five new education technician positions for special education and a new special education teacher in the budget. There are no layoffs in the proposal, Colbry said. A teacher has been added to the Norridgewock school because of increased class size.

On average, teachers will see a pay raise of about 3.3 percent for what is the final year of a three-year contract, he said.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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