Retirement costs challenge schools

BAR HARBOR — The nine schools in the Mount Desert Island Regional School System (MDIRSS) will see a combined increase of more than $300,000 in next year’s budgets because of the state’s decision to shift a share of teacher and administrator retirement costs to local towns.

The schools have already had to absorb nearly that much in unbudgeted expenses in the current year.

Personnel in the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) have 7.65 percent of their salaries deducted for retirement. Prior to this year, the state contributed all of the employer’s portion. But as a result of budget negotiations between Gov. Paul LePage and the Legislature, part of the state’s share of retirement funding for teachers, ed techs, administrators and certain other school professionals has been shifted to local school systems.

The MDIRSS board will vote on the budget Dec. 11.

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Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]