FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 directors will begin deliberations Thursday on more than $700,000 in new requests in a proposed budget that is 5 percent higher than the current budget. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Mt. Blue Campus.

The board is also expected to hire a new superintendent to replace Tom Ward who is retiring June 30.

The $35.52 million proposed spending plan is $1.68 million higher than the current budget. A majority of the budget covers employee contract obligations.

Director Irving Faunce of Wilton said at a board meeting Tuesday night that he hoped directors could start to look at the bigger picture in the budgeting process and begin deliberation on some of the critical needs.

Just to keep jobs and services would cost an additional $785,000 over this year, he said.

New requests totaling $729,000 and a request for an additional third-grade teacher are not included in the spending package, Faunce said. Salary and benefits for the additional teacher is estimated at $52,000.

One need said to be critical is a proposed alternative education program at the elementary school level. When administrators first proposed it in December, the cost was about $690,000. Administrators have made changes and the program is now estimated to cost $337,680.

Principals gave an overview in December of what is happening in classrooms with students who are considered “non-regulated.”

The term refers to students whose behavior “exceeds typical, occasional, inappropriate behavior, lacking control of emotions and impulses,” according to administrators.

These pupils typically do not meet the eligibility standards for special education, according to administrators. There could be many reasons for the behavior, including adverse childhood experiences.

Parents spoke to the board Tuesday about the effects of non-regulated pupils on other children, who sometimes do not feel safe in school. The parents urged the board to support the elementary alternative education program so all students will get the education they deserve.

Teachers at Cascade Brook School in Farmington made a request in March for an additional third-grade teacher for a total of five. They told the board that having 25 to 26 third-graders in each classroom negatively affected the academic, social, and emotional growth of these students.

There is also a request to add an accountant to the Business Office. The estimated cost for salary and benefits is $76,020.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.