SACO — The Saco School Board has approved a nearly $36.2 million fiscal year 2018 budget proposal.

The proposed budget, which was voted on by school board members Wednesday night, still has two more approvals before it can be finalized. The Saco City Council will vote on a school budget proposal to be sent to a city-wide referendum in June.

The proposed school budget would increase property taxes about $260 annually on a median home valued at $213,000.

This figure does not include any changes in taxation from the municipal side of the budget, which has not yet been approved.

The school budget proposal reinstated some positions that had been cut previously, including the curriculum development director, an alternative education teacher at Saco Middle School and nine educational technicians.

It also added a full-time science teacher at the middle school and increased the hours of the middle school music teacher.

The school board also voted to reduce the amount of money in its Thornton Academy budget line to cover sending 981 students to the private high school, and not 1,000. This cuts a buffer the department had proposed to accommodate an increase in students over what is projected.

Wednesday’s budget proposal was voted on after hearing input from a number of staff and residents at a public hearing last week and from the City Council at a workshop Monday night.

School Board Chairman Michel Ohayon said in his many years on the school board, this was one of the most difficult budgets he had worked on.

“Nothing was taken lightly,” he said.

 — Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]

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