Jean Skorapa is the superintendent of RSU 5, which includes the towns of Freeport, Durham and Pownal.

The RSU 5 Board of Directors and administration has worked diligently to develop a budget that is focused on the goals of the district and the needs of our students while remaining responsive to the needs of our taxpayers. The Board of Directors’ proposed operating budget for FY 25 is $41,612,460, which is an overall increase of 6.48%. The passage of our budget by the voters is critical to continuous improvement in our district.

The first budget priority is to maintain current programming. This includes negotiated salary and benefits increases for current staffing levels and the cost of Maine paid leave benefits, which equate to 96% of the additional funding requested. We are also requesting the addition of a special education teacher at Mast Landing School, which was funded through grants previously.

Maintaining class sizes according to RSU 5 board policy is our second priority. In order to meet the needs of students for the upcoming school year, we are requesting an additional classroom teacher at Mast Landing School. We are also requesting a half-time science teacher at Freeport High School not only to maintain small class sizes, but to enhance course offerings for students.

The third priority of the budget is to increase student support. Durham Community School is requesting a half-time guidance counselor to further meet the needs of students. Mast Landing School is requesting an assistant principal to provide support for students and staff due to increased enrollment and student needs. Freeport Middle School is asking for funding for additional work days for their assistant principal to be responsive to expanded student needs.

Our fourth priority is to support the district infrastructure to provide a safe learning environment. We request continued funding of the district’s Capital Improvement Plan and the Freeport High School tennis reserve and track and field accounts. Further, we are planning for the replacement of a bus to maintain our fleet and security upgrades in our schools. We are asking to adjust the district computer technician position to a network system administrator to ensure our infrastructure is secure for staff and students. Finally, we are requesting funding to replace technology devices and equipment which were previously purchased through COVID funding, which is no longer available.

The RSU 5 annual budget meeting will be held May 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Freeport High School. The budget validation referendum vote will be June 11. Additional information about the budget can be found on the district website and in our annual budget brochure. We hope you will find the information helpful in understanding the board’s proposed budget and you will support the budget for 2024-25.

The RSU 5 staff, administrators and the Board of Directors are appreciative of the support our schools receive from the residents of the district. As we look to the 2024-25 school year, we will continue to focus on building student-centered learning environments that support student growth and promote postsecondary planning and aspirations – all aimed at improving the overall achievement and success of all of our students.

RSU 5 is rich with a wonderful community of students and parents, an excellent teaching and support staff, outstanding educational leaders and strong community support. I believe our students have a bright future and that our district will fulfill its mission “to inspire and support every learner by challenging minds, building character, sparking creativity and nurturing passions.” Thank you for your continued support of RSU 5, our students, our programs and our staff.

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