The school board for RSU 14 will hold a public hearing tonight for residents to vote on its estimated $37 million 2010-2011 school budget.

The budget includes cuts to 44 positions. Of that, 16.6 teaching positions and 4.6 administrative positions will be cut. Two bus drivers will also lose their jobs. Last year, the school district cut 19 positions.

The budget totals $36,943,642. If approved by residents tonight, it will add 42 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to the school portion of Windham’s tax rate. In Rayomond, the tax rate would decrease 54 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

Superintendent Sandy Prince said the budget represents a  $1.5 million decrease over the current budget.

“I’m not pleased to report that we are reducing 44 positions,” Prince said today. “I worry about how even next year, it looks like revenue projections will be down. It’s to a point where you can’t continue to eliminate positions and programs and sustain a quality education program.”

The public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. at Windham High School.

Also at the meeting, the school board will decide whether to approve a transportation policy that will prevent buses from entering private roads.

Residents have the final say on the budget through a validation referendum on June 8. 

It’s the third year the school budget validation process has been in place. Residents will be asked to vote on June 8 whether they want to continue the validation referendum for another three years. If voters decide to discontinue the process, its reconsideration is prohibited for at least three years. 

On June 8, Raymond residents will vote from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Jordan Small Middle School on Route 85, and Windham residents will vote from 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. at Windham High School.