WINTHROP — The Winthrop School Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposed $12.63 million budget for the 2022-23 school year.

The budget represents a 3.1% increase to current spending, which officials said was driven largely by possible increases to health insurance premiums and increases to staff wages.

The proposed spending plan next goes residents, who are scheduled to vote June 14.

Superintendent Jim Hodgkin said during budget meetings the proposed spending plan is “90% salaries and benefits.” Regular instruction, which includes teacher salaries and costs associated with running the classroom, is budgeted at $4,708,717, up 2.69%.

“We are in the second year of teacher contracts that had to meet the state minimum salary level,” Hodgkin said at the March 2 School Committee meeting, referring to the Maine law that sets the minimum salary for teachers at $40,000 a year.

Like other school districts, Winthrop overestimates the cost of health insurance for budgeting purposes until their health insurance company announce the exact increase, according to Hodgkin. The district budgets 1% to 2% extra in case staff members switch plans or add family members to their health coverage.


Winthrop officials said the town must raise $7,165,887 for the upcoming budget, an increase of 1.73%. The rest of the budget is to be funded through revenue, such as state subsidies.

Two budget items account for a nearly 10% increase in expenses: Other instruction costs are expected to increase to $458,539 from $413,929, and student and staff support to $1,199,094 from $1,087,089.

Facilities and maintenance costs are also expected to increase 17.48%, to $1,566,486.

Hodgkin has said he worked closely with Joel Stoneton, the district’s maintenance director, to get ahead of maintenance projects and phase them into the budget. In the original budget, Stoneton was asked to list all of the projects the district needed. Hodgkin then worked with him to decide what would be included in the 2022-23 budget.

The budgets also provides for a new maintenance position.

“There is still a need, and we are trying not to repeat the same issue,” Hodgkin said of falling behind on district projects.

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