FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 voters approved a $33.63 million budget Wednesday on the school system’s fourth attempt since May to secure a spending plan.

The budget will go to voters in a validation referendum Oct. 24 in each of the district’s 10 towns.

The 2017-18 proposal is $887,984 more than last year’s budget.

For the second districtwide vote in a row, the meeting started more than 30 minutes late to accommodate the number of people checking in to vote: 522 voters checked in by 7:25 p.m. in the gymnasium of the Mt. Blue schools campus.

Ronald Aseltine was elected moderator for the fourth time since budget votes began about five months ago.

Matthew Allen, of Wilton, moved to limit debate to 15 minutes per article and two minutes per individual, which voters overwhelmingly approved.

Voters approved $10.27 million for regular instruction and $5.25 million for special education.

Before the vote on special education, business manager Kris Pottle answered a voter’s questions about social workers. She said four social workers are included in the budget.

Of that number, Special Education Director Christine Ghatto Shea said three and a half were for day treatment programs.

Alycia Stevens, of New Sharon, an RSU 9 bus driver, said drivers need more help on buses for students who have special needs. It is hard to drive the bus and take care of students, she said. She would like to see education technicians’ hours be longer to help with students on buses.

Voters approved $6.14 million for career and technical education. The Foster Career and Technical Education Center gets more than 100 percent reimbursement from the state for the program, former Foster Director Glenn Kapiloff said in answer to questions.

Voters also approved spending $451,029 for other instruction, including elementary and secondary athletics and co-curricular activities, and for elementary intramurals.

A resident asked that Articles 5 through 11 be taken as a block. Voters approved, followed by applause.

Siiri Stinson, of Wilton, expressed gratitude for the administration’s effort, given all it has gone through in recent months. She also commended Pottle for everything she has contributed to the district. The audience gave Pottle a standing ovation.

Paul Frederic, of Starks, said he was thankful for the district accepting Starks into RSU 9 in 2012. People in that town are pleased with the arrangement and service, and they will continue to do their best to make the district as great as possible, he said. He hopes the other nine towns can appreciate how great the district is, Frederic said. A fellow Starks resident also commended the district.

Voters approved spending $2.28 million on students and staff support, including guidance, health, library, volunteer, student support and instructional services.

They also approved $1.34 million for school administration and $2.06 million for transportation and buses.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: