January 2, 2013

Citing state subsidy cuts, SAD 74 freezes 2013-14 budget

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

ANSON -- School Administrative District 74's board of directors has approved a freeze of next year's budget because of state subsidy reductions announced by the Department of Education last month.

The board took the unanimous action Wednesday night after a discussion about the economic condition of the Anson-based district led by Superintendent Ken Coville.

Last month Gov. Paul LePage issued an executive order to reduce state spending by $35.5 million in order to balance the fiscal year 2013 budget. The reductions include $12.58 million in general purpose aid for local schools, many of which were notified of the amounts they would lose in state subsidy last week.

Coville said the Anson-based district would lose about $30,000 in state subsidy this school year.

"It's not immediate but will be scheduled throughout the rest of the year in reduced subsidy payments each month," he said.

Coville said that this year's budget is already leaner because of unanticipated expenses of about $22,000 that left the district with students moving to charter schools.

Coville told the board that it's likely the state will reduce subsidies further as the year goes on and that they should plan for such adjustments in the 2013-2014 school year.

In the meantime, the district is considering sharing some program and service costs with Bingham-based school district SAD13 in order to save money. Coville said he plans on meeting with the SAD13 superintendent and school board president next week to discuss those ideas.

Rachel Ohm -- 612-2368

rohm@mainetoday.com

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