WINTHROP — The Winthrop School Board has unanimously approved a $12.8 million proposed budget for the upcoming school year, an increase of less than 1% to the current spending plan.

The $12,807,601 budget for the 2023-24 academic year includes the costs of the district’s three schools, adult education and the school nutrition department. It represents a $92,713 increase to the budget for 2022-23, mainly due to the addition of a guidance position and an updated bus contract that is expected to cost the district nearly $180,000. 

Superintendent Jim Hodgkin told the School Board on Wednesday that after a difficult budget year, the proposed spending plan is in “good shape,” especially after the district received an additional $219,205 from the state after the Maine Department of Education made a mistake in calculating its subsidies to districts across the state.  

The Winthrop Public Schools will ask the town to pay $7,531,785, an increase of $290,898, or about 4%, from what it contributed to the current budget. 

“When I say the budget is in good shape, I mean it’s in good shape to make sure we are not only set this year, but we have money that we can carry over to the fiscal year 2024 budget. I’m confident we can do that,” Hodgkin told the board. 

School Board members agreed with Hodgkin, voting 5-0 to approve the budget and two warrant articles for the adult education budget and school nutrition, which are counted as separate budgets, but included in the total amount of the school budget. 


“I feel really good about the budget, especially after last week with the additional revenues that we weren’t aware of (from the state Department of Education),” board member Alicia Lawson said.

Winthrop Public Schools includes Winthrop Grade School, Winthrop Middle School and Winthrop High School. The district had more than 830 students in 2022, according to the Maine DOE.

The proposed school budget for 2023-24 includes the following increases:

• Regular instruction: Up $78,026, or 1.7%, to $4,786,743.

• Special education: Up $58,242, or 2.5%, to $2,297,830.

• Student and staff support: Up $245,662, or 20.5%, to $1,444,756. 


Officials added the guidance position, which is included in the increases, to support students as they return to a sense of normalcy following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The School Board decided to maintain a math teacher, a special education ed tech and a regular ed tech at the grade school, which are positions that existed before the pandemic, but whose costs had been covered by coronavirus relief funds.  

Faculty members and administrators advocated at previous budget meetings for a full-time dean of students at the middle school and an additional social worker, but the positions were not added to the budget due to cost.

Proposed spending for transportation is $578,628, which is up $138,126, or 31%, due largely to a new bus contract. 

Hodgkin said revenue for the School Department is down this year because of a decline in tuition from students who attend Winthrop schools but live outside of the district. Also, the town valuation for Winthrop increased by 7%, which makes the town responsible for paying more for the school district’s budget.

School officials expect the district to see total revenue of $5,275,815, a decrease of $198,184 from the previous year.

The Town Council is slated to review the school budget Monday, and residents are scheduled to vote on it June 5.

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