Newport school district still working to restore finances following budget crisis

9:37 PM, Jul 25, 2013   |    comments
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NEWPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- One year after facing a massive financial crisis Newport and Etna's school district is still working towards a new start.

Accounting errors left RSU 19 with a large budget shortfall last summer. It was so bad that administrators had to make about $1.7 million in programming and staffing cuts. They also had to convince voters in the district's eight towns to take out a $2.8 million loan to pay off past debts and expenses.

School superintendent Greg Potter says getting the loan made a huge difference.

"We're able to now pay our bills," he said, "to make payroll to ensure that we're able to operate..ya know comfortably and so that's where the district is now at and we're very happy to be there."

Beginning next year RSU 19 will start having to pay back the loan. Under a proposed budget for the district next year $398,000 would go towards that payback. Potter says the $22.6 million school budget is slightly lower than last year and with the RSU getting more state aid than expected even more savings could be passed onto taxpayers.

District voters will get to decide on the budget at a budget adoption meeting on July 31. If approved it will then be voted on at the polls on August 20.


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