2014-04-11 / Front Page

Revised school budget unveiled

Second reading of 2015 proposal scheduled for May 5
By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — The revised fiscal year 2015 budget proposal, which Superintendent Andrew Dolloff introduced before the public forum regarding the budget on Monday night, totals $38,947,467, an increase of $1,775,347 from fiscal year 2014.

The revised proposed budget, to be read for a second time at the Monday, May 5 meeting, would bring a 4.7 percent change in expenditures and a 1.73 percent increase to local tax assessment.

Dolloff also reported that the initial fiscal year 2015 budget proposal calculated for an increase of 9.5 percent on the district’s health insurance premiums through Anthem.

Last week Anthem confirmed with Dolloff that the premiums would only increase by 2.5 percent.

“This will allow us to reduce this line in the expenditure budget by $196,000,” Dolloff said.

The impact to local taxes is anticipated to be lower than initially projected. Per $100,000 of property valuation, the property tax in Arundel would increase by $14.62, or 1 percent to $1,465; Kennebunk would see a change of $9, or .6 percent to $1,504; Kennebunkport residents would see a change of $17.34, or 2.3 percent to $770.

Many who spoke at the public forum urged the board to reconsider its proposal to move the developmental learning center from Kennebunkport Consolidated School to Kennebunk Elementary School at the beginning of next school year.

Nathan Poore, the father of a fourthgrade student at Consolidated School, said the move would have an overall signifi- cant impact.

“These kids will never have a chance to attend a school in their community,” Poore said.

Parent Betsey Mahoney, mother of a son with Down syndrome, told the board to make sure the district “doesn’t warehouse our kids with special needs.”

Middle School of the Kennebunks student and former Consolidated School student Parker Fairfield, who approached the microphone with her younger sister and her mother, told the board how important it was to spend time with students from the learning center: “I think I learned as many things from the kids in there as I did in school,” Fairfield said.

The other issue that pervaded the forum was comment about possibly cutting four teaching positions at Kennebunk Elementary School and Kennebunk High School. One kindergarten classroom teacher might be eliminated, depending on enrollment numbers, along with three part-time positions at the high school — a science teacher, business technology teacher and an industrial technology teacher.

The elimination of the three positions at the high school would save the district approximately $77,000, said Dolloff.

Kennebunk resident Bill Pasquill spoke tersely to the board: “We talk about hundreds of thousands of dollars for new classrooms, but who’s going to be in those classrooms? Re-evauluate what’s best for the kids. It might not be hundreds of thousands of dollars for new classrooms, but the people in the classrooms. It’s the teachers that teach and that’s where your education comes from.”

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