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SAD 51 budget restores some jobs, thanks to stimulus funds

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SAD 51 budget restores some jobs, thanks to stimulus funds

CUMBERLAND — School Administrative District 51 can restore about five positions in its fiscal 2011 budget thanks to extra federal stimulus funds, Superintendent Robert Hasson said on Tuesday.

Stimulus money toward general purpose aid has already been accounted for, Hasson said, although the availability next year of such money to support local entitlement was not confirmed until last week. That money has led to nearly $200,000 being restored in next year’s budget.

Local entitlement supports positions that help students struggling with reading and math. It also aids some special education positions and supports professional development for teachers.

The 25 positions originally planned to be cut are now down to 19.7, including 9.7 teaching jobs, 8.5 educational technician jobs and 1.5 other jobs, Hasson said.

Among positions restored are a half-time science position at Greely Middle School, as well as two full-time equivalent educational technicians for kindergarten to eighth grade, and part-time math, world language, social studies, English, music and industrial technology positions at Greely High School.

“That gives more flexibility with the schedule and gives students more course offerings,” Hasson said.

The late bus and curriculum-based bus trips are among other items restored.

Hasson rolled out a fiscal 2011 budget last month that would remain flat at $28 million for the third year in a row, as the School Board directed. Reductions totaled $1.44 million to keep it flat.

Along with next year’s budget, the SAD 51 board also discussed recommendations from the Sustainability Task Force during its Monday meeting. Among the task force’s four proposals is  moving Drowne Road School students to another school and repurposing the building. The group also calls for an architectural and engineering study to be commissioned for North Yarmouth Memorial School.

A hearing will be held on the recommendations at the start of the School Board’s next meeting. That meeting will be held in the Cumberland Town Hall Council Chambers at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 13. A public hearing on the proposed budget will also be held that night.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.