SAD 51 approves flat school budget for May election

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CUMBERLAND — The School Administrative District 51 board approved a flat school budget to go to public vote in May.

The $28 million budget includes recently controversial cuts, such as eliminating dean of students positions at the middle and high schools, but addresses many citizens’ concerns by keeping tax increases lower than was anticipated at the beginning of the budget process.

If the budget is approved by voters on May 26, Cumberland faces a property tax increase of 3.4 percent, or 47 cents, per $1,000 of assessed property value. North Yarmouth would see a mil rate increase of 8.2 percent, or 92 cents.

The School Board approved the budget 6-1. Board member Dan Panici was opposed; he felt the school budget should have increased by about 2 percent, taking a slower approach at some of the cuts made.

Voters in both towns will go to the polls May 26; Cumberland will also host a traditional public forum on the budget May 21. A time for that event has not yet been posted on the town Web site.

Sarah Trent can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 108 or