Staff Furlough Days, Activity Fees Among Proposed RSU 24 Budget Cuts

ELLSWORTHFurlough days, a fee for all school activities from sports to the drama club and reductions in library staff and books are among cuts being debated to close a $580,000 shortfall in the proposed Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24) budget.


The decreases under consideration by the Finance Committee also include a restructuring of one of two guidance counselor positions at Sumner Memorial High School, $25,000 in cuts to gifted and talented programs and a $50,000 reduction in professional development funding, among other proposed decreases.

Many of the changes would affect schools across RSU 24, which is made up of Ellsworth and the towns of Waltham, Eastbrook, Mariaville, Hancock, Lamoine, Franklin, Sullivan, Sorrento, Winter Harbor, Gouldsboro and Steuben.

The two teacher and staff furlough days would generate a $200,000 savings but are likely to run into opposition from the Downeast Education Association, according to the co-president of the teachers’ union, Jay Bricker.

The suggested fee for all co-curricular school activities in kindergarten through 12th grade would generate about $50,000 in savings and revenue, RSU 24 Business Manager David Bridgham said.

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