The proposed $50 million SAD 51 budget for the new school year is up about 7%.

The proposal, $3.2 million more than this year’s budget, would increase school tax bills in Cumberland by nearly 4% on top of any property tax increase resulting from the town budget, which is still being developed.

The portion of the Cumberland property tax rate to support education would increase 88 cents, resulting in an additional $88 per year per $100,000 of assessed value. The owner of a home assessed at $500,000 in Cumberland, for example, would pay $440 more in property taxes.

The proposal would increase school tax bills in North Yarmouth by 3.1% on top of any property tax increase from the town’s budget. That’s an increase of 60 cents, resulting in an additional $60 per year per $100,000 of assessed value. The owner of a home assessed at $500,000 in North Yarmouth would pay an additional $300.

“This budget has so few new things that we put forward for additional items,” Director of Finance Scott Poulin said at a board meeting.

The major budget driver for the FY25 budget is staff salaries and benefits, Superintendent Jeff Porter said at a meeting last month.


“Increases in staff salaries and benefits alone are being recommended at $2,261,888 for all staff salaries and benefits,” he said.

Plans for the new year include leasing new modular classrooms for Mabel I. Wilson School and three modular buildings with a total of six classrooms for Greely Middle School. The classrooms will provide temporary space at each school.

The modular classroom lease for the elementary school is up by $229,023 from last year. The district will also spend $71,400 on a lease for the additional modular classrooms at Greely Middle School.

“We added on to the existing modulars and we put in the 12-room cluster at MIW,” Poulin said.

The proposed budget also includes updates to technology hardware and software. Updated professional services include cybersecurity and One Calendar, while software includes Assessment Software, Apple Licensing and Student Data Privacy.

Updates to technology hardware include projectors and replacement of Chromebooks. The total technology lease-purchase amount for all upgrades is quoted at $285,141.


“This is a terrific budget,” SAD 51 board member Denny Gallaudet said. “It’s easy to sell, I believe, and particularly because the increase in the mill rate is less than the rate of inflation from year to year.”

A public hearing for the proposed school budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, April 22, in the Gyger Room at Greely High School. The SAD 51 board will take a final vote on the budget the same night. The two-part public approval process includes a May 9 school district budget meeting and the validation referendum June 11.

This article was edited April 19 to delete a reference to a diesel school bus, an electric van and two electric buses, which are not included in the budget proposal.


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