Thursday, 01 February 2018 16:29

Maine's school aid funding impact Featured

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BANGOR - Maine school districts are learning how much state aid they can expect as they plan their budgets for the 2018-19 school year.

Superintendents from different schools spoke about how they think this will impact them, or if it will have no effect on them at all.


This is the second year in which the state is rolling out changes to state education funding.


Superintendent of Bangor schools Betsy Webb said  "Bangor for 2019 is expected to receive an additional 394,000 dollars."


She says that is less than 1 percent of their budget. "Looking at flat funding obviously it means we're going to have a tight budget for next year."


The state does an evaluation of each district to determine how much state aid they will get.


"In some years we received more funding, last year we received more funding. There also have been years where we received less" said Webb.


Other schools like Hermon consider the state funding they're going to receive before even creating their budget.


Superintendent of Hermon schools Gary Gonyar said "I've gotta say that the taxpayers in Hermon are going to do the right thing and provide an excellent education for the kids in Hermon regardless of what the state funding is."


He says the years that the state funding has decreased local tax payers have picked up the difference. "Sometime when the state funding increased a couple of different times there has been a little bit of a break for the property tax folks in Hermon."


Both superintendents say there are two major factors that drive the funding formula in Maine.


"One is your student enrollment and the other is the evaluation of your community" said Webb.


"It definitely plays a big part and we're on the other side. A lot of communities in Maine are losing students the numbers continue to go down and in the state of Maine the total number is going down" said Gonyar.


While enrollment of students is always a good thing, some schools just have to focus on what costs they can control.


Shonna Narine

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Shonna Narine joined the ABC7 and FOX22 team in August 2017. Originally from Long Island (although she hides her accent for TV) she's excited to see what Maine has to offer.

She graduated from Five Towns College in Dix Hills Long Island where she anchored for their TV Club, and had her own radio show called "All Access Entertainment."

She won an outstanding achievement award and graduated on the dean's list.

Prior to graduation Shonna interned at News12 Long Island.

Shonna comes from a big family. With three older sisters, her parents, and six nieces and nephews there's never a dull moment when she's around them. When she's not working she enjoys working out, dancing, spending time with her fiance, and planning her wedding! Shonna would love to hear if you have any story ideas. You can email her at [email protected].