Originally published in Castine Patriot, January 2, 2020
Penobscot school budget increases in first draft
by Monique Labbe
While the first draft of the 2020-21 Penobscot school budget is up 5.1 percent from last year, Union 93 Superintendent Mark Hurvitt said it is a work in progress and that it “will go down” as the budget process continues.
One of the main causes for the higher budget is an increase in high school students anticipated for next school year, up seven from this year. Penobscot pays tuition amounts to George Stevens Academy and Bucksport High School, and occasionally others if a student chooses, since the town does not have a high school of its own.
Hurvitt said he and the Penobscot School Board members are also anticipating the purchase of a new school bus, as well as an additional ed. tech. in the special education department, which will drive the budget up.
Once the budget is finalized, the board members will vote to approve it for consideration at town meeting in March.