School budget approved with 3 percent increase

Biddeford residents on Tuesday approved a $34.3 million school budget that includes new sources of revenue to make up for some funding losses.

The budget was approved 1,012 to 743. In a related question, 747 voters said the budget proposal was too high, and 82 said it was too low. More than 12 percent of Biddeford’s 13,5000 registered voters cast ballots.

The 2014-15 budget is up about $973,000, or 3 percent over the current budget, but requires only a 0.54 percent increase in revenue from taxes.

Superintendent Jeremy Ray said the district lost $311,000 in state aid and then lost $65,000 in federal Title I funding, requiring the elimination of a half-time Title I teaching position.

School officials offset some of the loss with new revenue through an agreement with Dayton to share central office staff and an agreement with Old Orchard Beach to share a food service director.

Biddeford officials are not providing estimates of how much the proposed budget would affect the property tax rate.

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