ANSON — The superintendent of the local school district plans to hold informal public meetings throughout this week to answer residents’ questions about a proposed $10.5 million budget.

The new $10,503,485 budget includes an additional $80,000 in cuts from a $10,583,485 budget rejected by voters in a referendum May 7.

Voters approved the revised budget last week at a budget meeting and will head to a second referendum June 11.

Regional School Unit 74 residents approved a revised budget at a district meeting on May 30. Superintendent Mike Tracy, left, taking part in a 3-D printer training session for teachers, plans to meet with Embden, Solon and New Portland residents this week to address the budget proposal that goes to referendum on June 11. Morning Sentinel file photo by David Leaming

The public meetings this week are scheduled for the following times and places:

• Tuesday, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Embden Community Center, at 797 Embden Pond Road.

• Thursday, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Griswold’s Country Store, at 112 South Main St. in Solon.

• Friday, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Tindall’s Country Store, at 7 Long Falls Dam Road in New Portland.

A public meeting already was held Monday morning at Good & Plenty Diner in Anson.

The $80,000 in cuts in the revised budget include $50,000 to be cut from special education and $30,000 to be cut from the proposed salary for a director of operations, a new position the district had been planning to create.

Special education costs are one of the largest increases in the budget, but RSU 74 Superintendent Mike Tracy said the district was able to revise the cost because two students who needed services out-of-district have moved since the start of budget discussions, and the district no longer will need to budget for them.

“I think it’s a responsible budget,” Tracy said last month. “I believe the first budget was responsible, and I believe we’re getting into things we need now and reducing beyond what we need.”

Other cuts that have been made since the district’s first proposal for a $10.6 million budget include $50,000 for a literacy coach, a new position; $10,000 for Wi-Fi updates across the district; another $20,000 from the special education budget; and $23,000 that had been budgeted to pay for raises in teacher salaries if legislation proposing a minimum $40,000 salary for teachers is enacted by the Legislature.


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