The Gorham school budget is set for a $1.9 million, or 7.4 percent, increase over the budget approved last year, according to Jim Hager, chairman of the Gorham School Committee, who added Tuesday that these were “preliminary figures.”

Hager also expects the state’s subsidy to increase by $1.5 million, reducing the amount of money from local taxes necessary to support the increase. The preliminary budget represents a $569,000 increase to Gorham taxpayers.

Hager estimated that the total budget that the committee is preparing looks to be about $28 million, up from the $26.1 million approved a year ago. Hager cited existing contract obligations and implementation of a government-mandated “gifted and talented” program at the schools as contributing to the budget increase.

Gorham was granted a one-year waiver, delaying the start of the program. “We’re fully geared up to implement it in September,” Hager said.

The Gorham School Department is having a day-long budget work session 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, in Room A-140 at Gorham Middle School on Weeks Road. Hager said Superintendent Ted Sharp and School Department Business Manager Paul Kelly along with the individual school administrators would each make 20-minute presentations during the day.

The School Committee also will hold evening work sessions on two Wednesdays, March 8 and 22. The committee will likely adopt a budget on Wednesday, April 12. All the workshops are open to the public.

The School Committee will present its proposed budget to the Town Council in a workshop on Tuesday, April 25. Approval by the Town Council of a combined school and municipal budget could come on Tuesday, May 9.

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