GARDINER – Residents in Maine School Administrative 11 passed the $30.1 million school budget in Tuesday’s election, with 281 voting in favor vs. 89 against. 

The four municipalities each voted for the budget in the regional budget meeting on June 6 and then had to vote to secure the results by secret ballot on Tuesday at the polls. All communities voted in favor of the budget, with Gardiner at 130-32; Pittston at 39-17; Randolph at 40-4; and West Gardiner at 72-36.

The budget is a 6.67% increase over last year’s $28 million budget and will have an average increase of nearly 13% on the MSAD 11 municipalities.  

The state will contribute $16,045,435 to MSAD 11 and the four municipalities will be tasked with raising a local contribution of $7,362,991. The municipalities will additionally have to contribute $4,911,672 for the additional local expenses within the budget that are not paid for by the state — like an additional ed tech, nurse, or teacher. The state only pays a portion of what it considers essential programs and services, and any spending beyond that is paid by the local communities. The district also used $1,325,000 in carryover funds toward the budget.

The four communities must pay a combined $12,274,664, which represents the local contribution and additional costs beyond essential programs and services. The spending breakdown by community: 

• Gardiner: $4,543,231, or a difference of $506,901, is a 12.56% increase over last year. 


• Pittston: $2,703,474, or a difference of $310,504, is a 12.98% increase over last year. 

• Randolph: $1,178,993, or a difference of $146,372, is a 14.15% increase over last year. 

• West Gardiner: $3,848,965, or a difference of $445,913, is a 13.10% increase over last year. 

The approved amounts will increase the municipalities’ proposed mil rates by $1.35 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for Gardiner, $1.47 for Pittston, $1.53 for Randolph and 99 cents for West Gardiner. 

The teacher’s contracted salaries, utilities and special education are the driving increases to the budget.  

Special education has an increase of 10.78% compared to last year and is budgeted at $5,401,853 — an increase of $525,757. Regular instruction is 2% higher at $12,300,997 or an increase of $337,446. Facilities and maintenance is 11.9% higher at $3,669,957 or an increase of $390,221. 

The system administration portion of the budget has a 12.44% increase compared to last year and is budgeted at $956,384, a $105,816 increase. The system administration portion of the budget includes the superintendent’s office, fiscal administration including an additional business position to help the finance director, and central office positions. Student and staff support has a 13.78% increase compared to last year and is budgeted for $3,031,407, a $367,231 increase. The student and staff support portion of the budget includes guidance programs, social services, health services and curriculum support.

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