26 voters pass school budget

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 7:30am

The Wiscasset School budget that goes to voters in June was passed at a special town meeting in Wiscasset Middle High School’s gymnasium Tuesday.

Twenty-six voters turned out. Most articles passed with one vote opposed.

Article 14 passed 22-4. It was for appropriating nearly $2.3 million beyond the state’s required local match for essential programs and services. According to Superintendent of Schools Terry Wood, much of it was for special education and transportation.

The total school budget, including the state match, was $9,388,187.48. Slightly less than $6 million of it will be raised by taxpayers if the school budget article passes at the June town meeting.

Following the meeting, the school committee met in the library. Wood said the plans are in place for summer school and the extended special education program. The schools work with 142 special education students among 500-plus students.

Director of Food Service Lorie Johnson said there are still many outstanding bills for hot lunch. She said children are given lunch whether or not their bills are caught up. Two committee members disputed that, saying their kids were told they had to pay or were not given milk because of small outstanding balances. Johnson said she would look into those situations and speak to the food service workers again.

Facilities Director John Merry said plans are in the works to buy two new school buses, from Bluebird. The committee voted to approve that. He also said he and his counterpart at Boothbay Region schools  met to discuss servicing Boothbay’s school buses. Merry said the fleet was in good shape.

Merry said it might be necessary to dip into the capital reserve fund to pay for the fuel system. He said the tanks are past their useful date.

He said the roof of the superintendent’s office has been reshingled, and that the other roofs will survive another year. A storage shed at the elementary school will be removed, and six trees infested with browntail moth larvae have been treated and are clean. Another group of trees will have to be cut down, he said.

Wood said a serious update of the technology plan is necessary, since many of the computers that were relied on for testing do not work for that purpose, and many computers are outdated. She said she would make an inventory and work with the committee to plan how to replace computers that need it..

The committee accepted the resignations of Jessie Hinman, WMHS STEM teacher; Stacy White, WES principal; Neal Goldberg, WMHS math and science teacher; and Kathleen Carignan, WES educational technician.

The committee voted to approve the probationary and continuing teacher contracts.