Scarborough OKs school budget on 2nd vote

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SCARBOROUGH — Voters approved the $34.9 million school budget Tuesday in the second budget validation referendum for fiscal year 2011.

Approximately 31 percent of Scarborough’s nearly 14,800 registered voters turned out to cast their ballots.

The unofficial tally was 2,325 to 2,029.

Voters were also asked if they felt the budget was too high or too low. While 1,297 did not answer the question at all, 2,049 indicated it was too high and 1,194 indicated it was too low.

The school budget was narrowly rejected on May 11, with a majority of the 987 voters who cast ballots indicating that it was too low. The School Board responded by recommending the Town Council add $100,000 from the teacher accrual account to the budget, which was approved June 2.

The addition did not impact the 3.95 percent tax increase.

The initial budget included cuts of 31 full time equivalent positions. The additional revenue may offset some of those cuts, but the School Board has not yet met to determine how to spend those funds.

“We will be meeting on June 17 to finalize next year’s budget,” said School Board Finance Chairman Robert Mitchell.

Mitchell said the Board would likely add three full-time positions back into the budget and that those positions would be chosen based on administrative recommendations and the public’s input from past hearings.

“There are a couple positions that are more key than others,” Mitchell said.

He said the GATES teacher, consulting special education teacher, and the music and arts teachers at Wentworth and the middle school would likely be considered for reinstatement.

 Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or