BAR HARBOR — Any budget increases for schools in the Mount Desert Island Regional School System (MDIRSS) next year will be “justified and minimal,” Superintendent Howard Colter promised the MDIRSS board last week.
“We realize how difficult this economy is,” he said.
He said he recently received the annual financial report from “a major business in the area that manages very generous donations and grant funds.”
The report showed that “monies are way off the mark,” he said. “It’s just a reminder of what the economy is like, that they are counting on a certain amount of growth and they’re not seeing it right now.”
Colter also noted that, for only the third time ever, Social Security benefits will not be going up next year.
“They are offering no cost-of-living increase to people on fixed incomes,” he said. “It’s a sobering reality that [those people] will not see another penny next year. These things weigh heavy on all of us when we are preparing budgets.”
He said the school budgets almost certainly will go up, due largely to wage increases called for in personnel contracts. But he said every effort will be made to keep the overall budget increases as small as possible.