VASSALBORO — Residents of Vassalboro will soon approve or reject a $7.7 million school budget — and the process by which that school budget is established.

The town’s municipal elections will take place Tuesday at the town office on Route 32. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The two-question ballot asks residents to validate Vassalboro Community School’s $7,703,908.23 budget for the upcoming school year. The biggest components of this figure include roughly $4.2 million for regular instruction, $1.5 million for special education, $542,000 for transportation and buses, $535,000 for facilities maintenance, $356,000 for school administration and $338,000 for student and staff support. Voters already gave a first nod of approval for the sum at the annual Vassalboro Town Meeting. It does not require increasing property taxes.

“I think it was a much easier budget season than other years,” said School Board Member Susan Tuthill, who also sits on the school’s finance committee. “We knew well ahead of time what we were going to have to pay teachers because we finished negotiations last year; so that made it very easy to plan. We didn’t go up in what we’re asking for next year, which is fabulous for taxpayers. So there won’t be any increases in taxes.”

Tuthill noted that one of the reasons the school budget came in on the lower side is that there are fewer high school students next year than there are in the current year. Since Vassalboro Community School offers pre-kindergarten through eighth grade education, the town pays to enroll the high school-aged students in other area public schools.

“I’m just thrilled with that, not asking for anything extra, and we’re not having to cut any services,” Tuthill said. “All our employees have good, well-respected contracts. It’s not often that you can say everything’s going well with the budget, but this year I think we can, and I think other members of the School Board Committee would agree.”

Residents will also decide whether they want to continue the budget validation referendum process for Vassalboro’s public school system for another three years. If the answer is “no,” the budget would instead be voted on and adopted at a public meeting instead of through a municipal election.

Despite the outcome, the question will appear again on the ballot in 2022.

“Every three years, we can ask the voters if they wish to continue the secret ballot ratification vote,” said Town Manager Mary Sabins. “Since the law went into effect some 10 years or so ago, we have asked the same question every three years, and every time the answer is always yes, they want to continue to ratify the budget amount that was approved at Town Meeting.”

Also on Tuesday, three incumbent Vassalboro officials are running for re-election. Robert Browne Jr. is looking to gain another three-year term as selectman and overseer of the poor. Jessica Clark and Kevin Levasseur are seeking re-election to the School Board Committee for the Vassalboro Community School, also for three-year terms. Levasseur is now the chair of the committee.

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