Turner-based school district budget gets initial approval from voters
May 5—TURNER — All 20 articles on the Maine School Administrative District 52 budget warrant passed Thursday evening at Leavitt Area High School.
The budget validation vote will take place May 18. Residents of Greene, Leeds and Turner will cast ballots at their respective Town Office.
Moderated by Clint Boothby of Livermore, Thursday's meeting was attended by about 100 residents from the three towns. Both budget meetings in 2022 drew less than half of that.
Residents approved the proposed $32.4 million spending plan for the coming year with no amendments, a 7.3% increase from the current $30.2 million budget. The budget is about 1% less than the superintendent's initial proposal in March, largely due to additional state funding.
For a property valued at $200,000, residents of Greene will pay roughly $208 more in school tax; residents of Leeds, $400; and residents of Turner, $240. The increase by town is determined by the state valuation.
Superintendent Cari Medd said the budget includes a school resource officer for $114,000. The officer and accompanying equipment would be contracted from the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office and improve the district's emergency response capabilities.
Two of three instructional coaches added last year using federal pandemic relief aid are in the new budget. The third will be funded by federal aid for one more year, when it is planned to end.
The budget also includes four educational technicians, one special education teacher at the Turner Primary School and three grant-funded special education secretaries.
The joint director of transportation and facilities position will also be split into two administrator positions. By eliminating a transit supervisor position, administrators say the split will result in an additional cost of $33,700.
Two positions from the high school were cut, a world language teacher and an English teacher. The English teacher will be laid off and the world language position is vacant, Medd said.