RSU 68 directors approve $14.2M budget

District budget meeting set for May 28

DOVER-FOXCROFT — The RSU 68 Board of Directors approved a proposed $14,238,768 budget for the 2024-25 academic year during a meeting Tuesday, May 7 at the SeDoMoCha School.

The directors also approved the annual district budget meeting for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28 at the SeDoMoCha School, with an information session before at 6 p.m. The total budget approved the evening of May 28 will be moved to a referendum vote in the RSU 68 communities of Charleston, Dover-Foxcroft, Monsoon, and Sebec on Tuesday, June 11 to coincide with the general Maine election.

Instead of meeting its usual first Wednesday of the month, the school board will instead meet on Tuesday, June 18 next month to be able to formally approve referendum numbers.

Superintendent Stacy Shorey said the $14.2 million budget is up by $855,004 from the 2023-24 total of $13,383,764

She said the overall increase to taxpayers would be $147,179 or 3.15 percent from the 2023-24 combined assessment of $4,670,845 for Charleston, Dover-Foxcroft, Monson, and Sebec.

Shorey said Charleston’s proposed assessment would increase by $8,507 or 1.39 percent from $621,975, Dover-Foxcroft would have an increase of $64,030 or 2.29 percent from $2,771,576, Monson’s share would rise by $54,243 or 9 percent from $499,477, and for Sebec the town assessment would be up by $20,339 or 2.99 percent from $682,845.

In his report to the board, Foxcroft Academy Head of School Arnold Shorey said that RSU 68 and the secondary school — where the district tuitions its grade 9-12 students — has the lowest per pupil costs in the region. 

Per a handout Shorey provided with 2023 fiscal year data from the Maine Department of Education, RSU 68/Foxcroft Academy had a total per pupil expenditure of $12,504 for pre-K to grade 12. Among nine schools listed this was the lowest with SAD 4 of Guilford the next lowest at $14,321 and the Greenville schools being the highest at $25,998,

The handout said this speaks to all the efforts to keep the cost to a minimum while maintaining a plethora of programs and opportunities for students. Shorey said Foxcroft Academy has been happy to work with RSU 68 and looks forward to continuing to do so.

The head of school also said a walkathon is being planned for Saturday, Aug. 10 on the Foxcroft Academy track to benefit the Special Olympics. Shorey said teams will have at least one member always covering laps over a 12-hour timeframe, and he suggested Foxcroft Academy and RSU 68 administrators form a team.

“It’s a great cause to raise money for the Special Olympics,” Shorey said.

In other business, the school board approved Friday, June 14 as the last student day of the school year. 

Stacy Shorey said Monday, June 17 was scheduled to have been the final day but by moving this up RSU 68 would still be over the 175-minimum day threshold.

SeDoMoCha School Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Cameron Archer gave an update on the spring middle school sports season which he said is about halfway finished.

He said A baseball has a record of 1-3 while B baseball is 3-2. A softball is 2-2 after a win a short time before the meeting over the Ridge View Community School of Dexter, and B softball is off to a 5-0 start. Archer said the outdoor track & field team has had three meets so far. 

Playoffs on the diamond and the postseason meet will be held later in the month.

Archer said, amazingly enough, fall sports sign-up information will be going home with students the following week.

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