Biddeford residents will vote Tuesday on a $36.9 million budget that funds new teaching positions while adding less than a penny to the property tax rate.

The proposed budget is up only .08 percent from the current year. In the past five years, the city’s education budget has increased about $77,000, said Superintendent Jeremy Ray.

“We’ve had a good run for steady, flat budgets while still adding opportunities,” he said. “We’ve been happy we’ve been able to do that.”

The budget will allow the district to hire two new bus aides, a half-time math coach, a full-time K-12 music teacher, a teacher for English Language Learners classes and a payment for a turf field at Waterhouse Field.

Also on the Biddeford ballot are two questions that would allow the district to formalize a cooperative educational agreement with Dayton and join a collaborative purchasing unit with up to a dozen other school districts. Ray said joining the collaborative purchasing unit will allow Biddeford to receive additional state education funding without impacting local decisions made by the school board.

For more than four years, Biddeford and Dayton have collaborated and shared services, including central office administration. Ray said a yes vote on the referendum question will maintain the status quo.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Tiger Gym at Biddeford High School.

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