March 14, 2013

Gorham schools budget would cut staff, raise taxes

By Leslie Bridgers lbridgers@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

GORHAM — The superintendent of Gorham schools is proposing to cut 12 positions and raise taxes for education by 12 percent in the $33.3 million budget he presented to the School Committee on Wednesday.

Superintendent Ted Sharp’s proposed budget for next year is $1.1 million more than the current budget.

Sharp said Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to shift retirement costs from the state to school departments would cost Gorham $1.2 million.

The proposed budget would raise the tax rate by $1.24 per $1,000 of valuation, which would add $248 to the tax bill for a $200,000 home, Sharp said.

The positions Sharp has targeted for elimination include six education technicians, three secretaries, two teachers and one technology position.

Two of those positions — one education technician and one secretary — are part-time. Together, those cuts would reduce expenses by $459,000.

Sharp did not include funding to change its kindergarten program from half-day to full-day — a possibility that’s being explored by an ad hoc committee, which has yet to make a recommendation to the school board.

Sharp said that is scheduled to happen in a workshop on March 27.

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