CUMBERLAND — The Cumberland and North Yarmouth schools superintendent has proposed a fiscal year 2019 budget that includes a 4.65 percent spending increase.

Superintendent Jeff Porter’s proposed School Administrative District 51 budget includes a 9 percent hike in insurance costs and eliminates three jobs.

Next year’s proposed $37.6 million budget represents a $1.7 million increase in spending. Offsetting this is $11.3 million in projected revenue, down 5.6 percent ($668,000) from the current year. The decline is due primarily to a $442,000 loss in state subsidy ($11.3 million down to $10.9 million), which in the last three years has declined by more than $1 million, according to Porter.

Salaries and benefits, due to increase 3.6 percent, make up $1.3 million of the spending plan’s total $1.7 million increase. The district is budgeting for a 9 percent insurance rate increase.

The district is looking to cut $160,000 through the removal of three positions – a teacher at Greely Middle and High schools ($62,600 each), and an elementary regular educational technician ($35,000). The positions would be eliminated through attrition, so no staff would lose jobs, and specific positions to be cut are still being determined.

Administrative requests totaling about $537,000 are also not to be funded. Those include a K-5 math specialist, Pathways educational technician at Greely High, student services coordinator and writing support staff at the high school, all buses being outfitted with cameras, and summer math enrichment, increased office hours, and summertime Response to Intervention tutoring and algebra preparation at the middle school.

Among proposed staff additions are a second-grade teacher at the Mabel I. Wilson School ($68,000) to address growing class sizes, and a literacy audit consultant ($20,000).

Student instruction makes up 74 percent of the budget, versus the 68 percent statewide average, according to Porter. School and system administration, transportation, facilities and debt service make up the rest.

“It should be noted that if state subsidy figures are less than expected, then additional reductions or a tax increase in the operating budget will likely be needed,” he explained in a March 26 memo to the SAD 51 board.

With revenues subtracted from expenditures, $26.3 million is to be assessed to Cumberland and North Yarmouth. This would result in a $1 increase (5.32 percent) per $1,000 of property valuation in Cumberland, adding $350 annually to a home assessed at $350,000. In North Yarmouth, $1.11 (6.7 percent) would be added to the tax rate, increasing property taxes by $388 on a $350,000 home.

A board budget workshop is to be held at the Greely High library at 6 p.m. Monday. A public hearing there will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, April 23. The board is to adopt the budget May 7, after which Cumberland-North Yarmouth voters will tackle it twice: at a district budget meeting on May 17, and a budget validation referendum on June 12.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or at:

[email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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