School chief: Cumberland-North Yarmouth state aid loss “a little less” than projected

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CUMBERLAND — Preliminary figures showing what School Administrative District 51 could lose in state aid are slightly less than what the district expected, Superintendent of Schools Robert Hasson said last week.

Those figures, released Feb. 1 by the Maine Department of Education, show SAD 51 losing $1.1 million, a drop in state assistance between fiscal 2010 and 2011 from $11.9 million to $10.9 million.

Hasson said the district had planned for a loss of between $1.1 million and $1.4 million.

“It was a little less than what we were expecting, but it’s still a big hit,” Hasson said.

The news comes as SAD 51 ramps up its fiscal 2011 budget process. Hasson was directed by the school board to produce a no-growth operating budget. The fiscal 2009 operating budget of $28 million remained the same into fiscal 2010.

Hasson has said that every position is being reviewed, and that the district is considering different strategies to decrease costs for fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2012. He said the district is also in talks with the SAD 51 Education Association about renegotiating the teachers union contract.

The Cumberland-North Yarmouth district has planned a public input session for next year’s budget for Thursday, Feb. 25. It will be held at Greely High School at 7 p.m.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or [email protected].

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.