Voters in Scarborough narrowly approved a $35 million school budget.

The vote was 2,325 to 2,029 to adopt the budget, which will cut the equivalent of about 28 full-time positions.

On May 11, voters rejected the $34.9 million school budget, which would have eliminated more than 31 full-time positions. The margin was only 10 votes – 493 opposed and 483 in favor.

A week later, the Board of Education decided to add $100,000 to the school budget and asked the Town Council to use $100,000 to $200,000 in surplus to reduce the property tax burden on residents. On June 2, the council approved the school board’s request, but did not side with its suggestion to use additional surplus to reduce the property tax burden. Instead, the school board decided to take $100,000 from its teacher accrual account, an account with money set aside to fund teacher salaries in the summer. 

Superintendent David Doyle said the funds will be restored to the account in the future.

Doyle said schools across the district will feel the impact of the budget cuts. He said the class sizes will be bigger and scheduling will be different. He said school officials will take a close look at how it provides support in each of the buildings to make sure they function properly.

“I’m glad we finally have a budget,” he said. “I wish it was more. You can’t eliminate that number of positions and not feel the impact.”

In a separate vote, 2,049 residents feel the school budget is too high. Residents cast 1,194 votes that the budget is too low.


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