A painting of a tiger, the school’s mascot, greets visitors in the lobby at Gardiner Area High School at 40 W. Hill Road. Kennebec Journal file

GARDINER — Residents in the Gardiner-area school district voted Tuesday in favor of the proposed $32.4 million school budget, sending it to a referendum scheduled for June 11.

One voter from West Gardiner attempted to amend the budget by adding $2 million to the $12,907,504 regular instruction portion of the budget, but her attempt was swiftly voted down. It was an effort to increase per-student spending to match Skowhegan-based Maine School Administrative 54, based on rankings in U.S. News & World Report.

“We need teachers and students to be supported and our rank to be something we are proud of,” she said.

The budget approved for Maine School Administrative District 11, which includes Gardiner, Pittston, Randolph and West Gardiner, represents a 7.7% increase to current spending and 9.5% increase to the portion that taxpayers in the district must pay.

The increase of slightly more than 9.5% to taxpayers for the schools’ portion of the budget is expected to affect taxes on properties valued at $400,000 as follows:

• A $383 increase in Gardiner.


• A $276 increase in Pittston. 

• A $233 increase in Randolph.

• A $336 increase in West Gardiner. 

Most of the increases in the MSAD 11 budget are from contractual salary increases and the cost of necessities, such as health insurance and energy, leading the board to cut positions to reduce the effect on taxpayers. Among the positions cut out of the budget are a first grade teacher, a school counselor and a special education teacher.  

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