HALLOWELL — Nearly two weeks after the Regional School Unit 2 school board approved a $32.61 million spending plan for next school year, member municipalities still don’t have a detailed breakdown.

Despite criticism from numerous town and city officials about sharp increases to the local shares required to fund the district’s spending plan, the RSU 2 board approved the budget for the 2021-2022 school year April 15.

Since then, none of the five municipalities in the district — Dresden, Farmingdale, Hallowell, Monmouth and Richmond — have received a line item budget, the current general fund budget or the most recent town allocation amounts. All that has been sent to municipal officials from the school district is one of the first drafts of the general fund budget, which isn’t the one approved 11 days ago.

Monmouth Town Manager Linda Cohen hasn’t heard if the supporting documents will be mailed to the office or sent via email. As of Monday morning, she had only received a copy of the “budget by cost center.” Her copy shows the full spending portion of the RSU 2 budget, but Cohen has not received additional pages of the budget showing the town’s allocation amount or the district’s expected revenues.

“I checked the RSU 2 website on Wednesday and it said budget documents would be coming on the site,” she said.

Hallowell City Clerk Diane Polky also said she hadn’t gotten any information from the school district and checked the RSU 2 website in search of more details.


Other central Maine school districts have published detailed information online. For example, Augusta Public Schools, has had its line item budget breakdown on the website since the beginning of the budget process.

Dresden, Farmingdale and Richmond also have not received the line item budget. Farmingdale Town Clerk Rose Webster said all the town has received is the paperwork for the warrant notice of election after the budget was approved by the school board. Dresden Town Administrator Michael Faass did not have the most updated version of the town allocation.

“I am not aware of receiving anything,” Webster said. “I did get the notice of public hearing, but no follow up information on it.”

At the meeting before RSU 2 approved its budget, municipal officials were upset the board had no “Plan B” if the spending plan is defeated by voters June 8. Municipal officials have said they would not be able to support the budget, both in terms of the impact it would have on residents and with the capital projects the municipalities already deemed necessary, like fixing the roads, within its own budgets.

Officials, including those in Monmouth, said they would be educating the voters on RSU 2’s proposed budget, which includes a 3.2% spending increase. Additionally, it is asking for municipalities to raise an extra $1.3 million to offset expenses.

After Monmouth’s select board meeting last week, Regional School Unit 2 School Board Chairperson Jonathan Hamann accused the town’s officials for spreading “false statements” about RSU 2’s budget for next year.

Last week, the Kennebec Journal also asked the RSU 2 central office for the current line item budget and the proposed one for next school year. The district was in recess last week for April vacation, and the request was sent to Superintendent Tonya Arnold and Business Manager Vicki Raymond. Arnold sent the proposed line item budget to the newspaper Monday, but not the current spending plan.

Hamann was also asked for the detailed budget last week, but he referred the Kennebec Journal to Arnold for that information. He also did not answer whether he or other board members had their own copies of the line item budget they approved unanimously.

Maine Department of Education spokesperson Kelli Deveaux said school districts are not required to send their budgets to the state until it has been approved by voters.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.