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Falmouth, ME: "Budget is driven by the increasing needs of students"

May 31, 2018, Falmouth (ME) Forecaster: Scarborough, South Portland face school budget challenges http://www.theforecaster.net/scarborough-south-portland-face-school-budget-challenges/ With difficulty passing budgets in the past several years, recent turmoil over the recall of three School Board members and the resignation of a popular principal, Scarborough residents are probably wary of another budget fight stretching through the summer. Although less dramatic, South Portland residents are considering a school budget that proposes an increase of 4 percent that was described as “challenging” by the superintendent. Both South Portland and Scarborough face rising costs and higher taxes as residents prepare to vote June 12 on fiscal year 2019 school budgets that would take effect July 1…. The net budget proposal of $44.9 million seeks an additional $2.5 million in taxes next year, a nearly 6 percent increase, although the increase in expenditures is only 2.9 percent. Superintendent Julie Kukenberger in April said it covers only essential services. The budget is driven by the increasing needs of students who require individualized programming and services – an increase of $375,000 – as well as an additional kindergarten teacher at Pleasant Hill School due to an enrollment increase – a cost of $75,000 – and an increase in salaries and benefits for staff.