RSU 68 officials looking at $11.5M budget for 2019

SEBEC — The current figures have the 2018-19 RSU budget totaling $11,559,907 for the 2018-19 academic year, Superintendent Stacy Shorey said during an April 3 school board meeting at the Harland A. Ladd Municipal Building.

“I have updated the budget,” Shorey said, using a guiding principle of “creating a budget that’s best for students and also fiscally responsible.”

She said the near $11.6 million figure represents an approximate $742,000 increase from the current year’s total of $10,817,189. Shorey said the spending plan would be up by 8.67 percent.

More than half of the increase, around $400,000, is for one-time expenses including fixing the traffic pattern on the SeDoMoCha School campus, forming a literacy class and repairing the recently purchased former Head Start building a stone’s throw from the district property. Shorey said without these funds the budget is up by $322,840 or 2.98 percent.

The school board is scheduled to approve a 2018-19 budget at its May meeting, which was moved back a week to Tuesday, May 8. In late May the public would be able to vote on various article making up the budget at a district meeting. The figure of the total spending plan approved that evening would be moved to a referendum vote in the towns of Charleston, Dover-Foxcroft, Monson and Sebec on Tuesday, June 12.

In other business, Shorey said she talked with Atkinson Select Chair Mark Kinney on the community’s efforts to withdraw from the Milo-based SAD 41.

“They have reached an agreement with SAD 41, it should take effect with the 2019-20 school year,” Shorey said.

RSU 68 has signed a contract with Atkinson to be the school of record for the town. The Department of Education will need to review the withdrawal agreement.

“He’s anticipating it will go to the voters in November,” Shorey said, as the agreement would need to be approved by Atkinson citizens who also may have a deorganization question on the ballot.

Shorey said Atkinson currently has a little less than two dozen students in SAD 41, and three are scheduled to graduate. Under the withdrawal agreement, those attending Penquis Valley High School would be able to stay at the secondary school.

“We raised $654 for the Autism Walk,” Special Services Director Sue Watson said about a craft and vendor fair held the previous Saturday at SeDoMoCha. The funds will support the SeDoMoCha Helping Hands team in its participation in the annual Walk for Autism, scheduled for Sunday, April 29 in Bangor.

“That is pretty exciting because it comes from outside SeDoMoCha’s wall, we bring that all in with the fair,” Watson said.

More information on the walk and school events for Autism Awareness Month is at

Board Chair Jenny Chase welcomed the two new directors, David Bjork of Monson and Robert Higgins of Charleston. Higgins returns after having been off the board for several terms.

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