SAD 75 School Board sends $35.8M budget to voters

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TOPSHAM — The School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors unanimously approved a nearly $34.8 million budget for fiscal 2011.

The spending plan will go before voters at a district budget meeting at 6:30 p.m. on May 27 at the Orion Performing Arts Center. A budget validation referendum is scheduled for June 8.

Next year’s proposed budget is $1.47 million smaller than the current spending plan. Revenues are down $1.72 million, which includes a state subsidy reduction of $1.46 million.

Helping to offset that shortfall is a $219,000 payment from Harpswell to keep the West Harpswell School open, plus $35,000 in fund balance transfers, to bring the net revenue loss to $1.47 million.

The local assessment from SAD 75’s four towns for fiscal 2011 totals $18.72 million, a decrease of nearly $233,000, or 1.23 percent. But Only Harpswell would see its share decline: $6.83 million, a drop of 8.85 percent.

Topsham would see an increase of 4.82 percent to $7.57 million; Bowdoin, an increase of 1.14 percent to total $2.05 million, and Bowdoinham, an increase of 2.66 percent to $2.28 million.

Positions to be cut include a bus driver and transportation aide; four custodians and a maintenance job; 1.3 principal positions; five elementary and 2.75 middle school teacher positions; six elementary KinderStart educational technicians; two social worker and one occupational therapist positions; one high school guidance job and 6.5 special education teacher jobs.

New positions include six kindergarten teachers, an elementary technology integrator, 5.5 Response to Intervention learning strategists and an autism consulting teacher.

In light of having to make significant cuts, Superintendent Mike Wilhelm said, “I don’t think we’ve made any headway, but I don’t think we’ve lost capacity.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.