Scarborough approves $35.6M school budget

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SCARBOROUGH — Voters approved the $35.6 million school budget Tuesday, by just over 100 votes.

According to unofficial ballot counts Tuesday evening, the budget passed 856 to 753.

Despite an increase of 1.6 percent, or just over $500,000 in the total budget over last year, the school budget eliminates more than 17 full-time positions from the district.

The cut positions include several foreign language teachers, physical educations teachers, guidance counselors, special education instructors and five K-8 classroom teachers. Class sizes have been increased and the seventh grade foreign language program has been eliminated.

A previously proposed plan to increase activity fees was scrapped, however students at Wentworth Intermediate School will now have to pay the fees that were assessed last year only to the middle school and high school.

The school budget, combined with the Town Council-approved municipal budget, will raise taxes 2.89 percent, bringing the property tax rate up 36 cents to $12.99 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Last year the school budget failed at the first referendum. It passed in a second vote after the council restored $100,000.