BATH — Voters in the four Regional School Unit 1 communities approved a nearly $25 million fiscal 2011 budget on Tuesday.
The June 8 vote follows a district budget meeting held last week.
Bath voted 1,720 to 429 in favor of the budget. Arrowsic supported it 161-32, Phippsburg 457-255, West Bath 463-151 and Woolwich 542-264.
“It shows that even during hard (economic) times, the people have tremendous support for their children, and they want them to get a great education,” RSU 1 Superintendent William Shuttleworth said Tuesday night.
RSU 1 voters also supported continuing the budget validation referendum process for another three years. In Bath the vote was 1,245 to 806 in favor, while it was 102-84 in Arrowsic, 562-168 in Phippsburg, 388-225 in West Bath and 509-289 in Woolwich.
Next year’s budget is a decrease of more than $133,000, or 0.53 percent, from the current year. The fiscal 2011 local contribution of $16.54 million is increasing nearly $100,000, or 0.58 percent, from this year.
The school district’s anticipated revenue reductions include a more than $400,000 cut in state subsidy.
Three communities will see their contributions drop through the district’s cost-sharing formula: Arrowsic, down 16.22 percent to more than $406,000, Phippsburg, down 3.72 percent to $2.85 million, and West Bath, down 0.63 percent to $2.51 million.
Bath will contribute $7.8 million, 0.07 percent more than the current year. Woolwich will pay nearly $3 million, an increase of 11 percent, a hike due to increases in both property value and student enrollment. The latter increase is due to construction of a new school, scheduled to open in September 2012.
The budget cuts five teaching positions in kindergarten through eighth-grade foreign language, with one teacher retiring and a slot being created for a world language technology integration specialist. That specialist will guide the shift of elementary school foreign language classes from classroom instruction to Web-based learning.
Two teaching positions are also to be cut at Morse High School.
Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or email@example.com.