FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 board of directors met Tuesday to certify the outcome of last week’s annual budget referendum and set a schedule for upcoming district budget deliberations.

It was the board’s first meeting since residents voted down the district’s $33.9 million budget recommendation and approved its $317,834 bond proposal.

The budget failed by an official count of 1,641-1,457, while the bond proposal passed 1,540-1,455.

With their preferred budget defeated for the third year running, the board must now re-examine its proposal and seek out areas for cuts. At Tuesday’s meeting, Superintendent Thomas Ward said he and other members of the administration would solicit board members for their suggested reductions before they begin their budget deliberations in earnest.

The board will start reviewing the budget at its June 27 meeting. Ward said he hoped to have a board-approved budget by July 6 and an annual budget vote by July 18. By law, the district is required to schedule its annual budget vote by July 28 at the latest. The district’s budget referendum probably would take place in early August.

The board also approved a new three-year teachers’ contract Tuesday. As part of that contract, teachers agreed to adding another 12 minutes to the regular school day, totaling up to a week of additional class time for RSU 9 students. In this contract, the district also has eliminated its requirement that all teachers obtain a master’s degree within 10 years of being hired and placed caps on the district’s course reimbursements. The administrative collective bargaining agreement was tabled until a future meeting.

Kate McCormick — 861-9218

[email protected]

Twitter: @KateRMcCormick

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