WATERVILLE — The Waterville Board of Education on Monday gave preliminary approval to a proposed $30.27 million school budget for the 2023-24 academic school year.

The board voted 7-0 on the budget, which represents a $1.8 million increase over the current $28.4 million budget.

Board Chairwoman Pam Trinward said Tuesday that $1.6 million of the $1.8 million increase is reflected in salaries and benefits. Other increases are $18,000 for motor fuel; $27,600 for fuel oil; $14,000 for electricity; $15,944 for liability insurance; $28,000 for completing the entrance renovation at George J. Mitchell School; $42,000 for security cameras for Albert S. Hall School; $25,000 for special education placements; and $76,852 for tuition reimbursements for teachers pursuing certifications or higher degrees.

Trinward said the only new position in the budget is for a teacher for English-language learners, at a cost of about $125,000 for both salary and benefits. The position is required by the state and is necessary because of an increase in students coming into the school system from other countries. Trinward said the state notified the school system that some 60 new students will be arriving in Waterville by the fall.

“Of the $1.8 million increase, we’re getting $963,000 from the city to cover that increase,” Trinward said. “The other $900,000 is from the state.”

The board will take a second, final vote on the budget after the City Council finalizes the municipal and school budgets in a few weeks.

Calling the school spending plan a “bare bones budget,” Trinward said any cuts would mean cutting positions, and the board does not want to do that.

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