NEWPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Tough times continue for people living in Newport and Etna's school unit.
RSU 19 is trying to close a budget shortfall of more than $1 million going into next school year. Dozens of people attended a budget committee meeting for the unit on Tuesday night. Incoming superintendent Greg Potter says the shortfall was caused by poor oversight of past school budgets. He says past administrators forgot to bill towns in the unit for expenses and they also greatly overestimated the district's fund balance from year to year.
Potter says RSU 19 is still under a spending freeze because of the shortfall --- meaning schools can't even buy supplies for the coming year. In his remarks at the meeting, he said he only sees two ways out: either the district borrows money or makes deep cuts.
"If we are not able to secure a loan...it will get hurtful," he said, "It will get miserable and it will get to the point where no superintendent likes to be. It will and that's the reality of it."
Potter says district leaders have already been talking to banks about the possibility of getting a loan. That move would first require voter approval.