South Portland school budget grows to prevent cuts

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SOUTH PORTLAND — City Manager Jim Gailey on Wednesday outlined a total budget increase of 3.8 percent, to $95.3 million.

In the joint City Council-School Board public hearing on the fiscal 2016 school and municipal budgets, Superintendent of Schools Suzanne Godin presented a budget with a 3.65 percent increase, requiring an appropriation of approximately $46 million.

The proposed School Department budget is revised from an initial budget proposal that included several controversial cuts, and required a budget increase of only 3 percent.

It now retains a literacy teacher, does not reduce the operating budget by 10 percent, keeps library clerk positions, retains fifth-grade music, and keeps a completion coordinator position.

The school budget also preserves ninth- and 10th-grade boys and girls soccer.

Significant municipal budget impacts include a $95,000 increase in health insurance and an added $358,000 in cost of living adjustments. 

Gailey described the public’s reception of the budget as “very neutral.”

 The next joint budget workshop for the council and School Board will be April 27.  

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.