Voters in the Gardiner-area school district approved the district’s $25.7 million spending plan for the next budget year Tuesday, 422 to 163.

Turnout was low across the four communities in School Administrative District 11, and in Gardiner, West Gardiner and Randolph, the proposed school budget was the only item on the ballot. In Pittston, a special election to choose a selectman to fill out the balance of former Selectman Roger Linton’s term drew voters out to the Town Office to vote.

Fewer than 600 ballots were cast on the budget a week after about 40 people attended the districtwide budget meeting in the Gardiner Area High School gymnasium. With 10,918 registered voters in the school district as of May 1, that means the budget was approved by 5.3% of voters.

Here’s how the vote breaks down:

• Gardiner: yes 143, no 44

• Pittston: yes 178, no 70

• Randolph: yes 31, no 8

• West Gardiner: yes 70, no 41

Nearly 18% pays for special education and other instructional programs. About 20% is expected to be spent on facilities, maintenance and transportation. About 10% is dedicated to student and staff support. Less than 10% of the entire budget is expected to be spent on school and district administration.

To pay for that spending, a little more than half the money — $14.1 million — will come via state subsidy for education. The balance will come from a variety of sources, including student tuition, athletic gate receipts and interest. But the biggest portion is the $10 million that will come from property taxes.

The SAD 11 School Board is expected to meet at a special meeting 6 p.m. Thursday for the computation and declaration of votes cast on Tuesday. Andrea Disch, the district’s business manager, said via email Wednesday.


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