BRUNSWICK — The school department presented its upcoming budget to Town Council during a workshop Thursday, asking for additional money to offset the continued reduction in federal and state funding.

The department proposed a budget of $38,895,275, an increase of more than $1 million over last year, or about 2.7 percent. When factoring in a loss of non-local revenue and the state-defined local required contribution, the district is asking for about $1.66 million more than last year, or 3.74 percent.

“The federal government doesn’t hold up its end of the bargain for public education funding,” said School Board member Sarah Singer. But federal and state requirements and mandates continue to increase, making it harder for districts to meet those goals.

Last year’s $37.9 million budget was up 0.49 percent over the previous year, and over the last 10 years, the budget has averaged a 1.49 percent increase, or about $514,000 per year.

Assistant Superintendent Pender Makin told the board that the district works hard to achieve its mandate to enhance community connections, professional excellence and student success, develop innovative programs and multiple pathways to deliver a quality education.

However, Makin said, there are growing needs and diminishing and inconsistent resources, making the district’s job harder. To that end, principals and administrators cut about $131,000 from their budgets, and the district still doesn’t have a human resources department or a human resources employee.

“We’ve worked very hard to trim as much as we can,” Makin said.

This year’s proposed budget includes an additional $301,000 for facilities maintenance and $239,500 for transportation. The district is also asking for an additional $960,000 for regular education, which includes teachers’ salaries and benefits, and $370,000 more for special education.

Some of the increase in proposed education spending can be attributed to the rising cost of health insurance for teachers —  the district is asking for $175,000 more for health insurance and $27,000 more for dental insurance.

Overall, 61.4 percent of the budget is employee wages and 21.9 percent is employee benefits.

The district is proposing spending $300,000 to replace the HVAC unit in the Crooker Theater at Brunswick High, along with $80,000 for complete carpet replacement, $60,000 for roof repairs and $36,000 to replace the school’s intercom system.

The current HVAC unit is 25 years old and was installed when the theater was constructed. It is operating at half-capacity, and a new unit would be more energy efficient and would save the district thousands during the unit’s lifespan.

The district plans on seeking competitive bids from at least three vendors for the new unit.

During the public comment period, Brunswick resident Jean Powers, an outspoken critic of rising eduction costs, said other municipal employees receive no pay increases while Brunswick teachers will get between 7 percent and 8 percent raises next year — a figure not at all support by any documents or contractual agreement between the School Board and teachers.

“They are pricing homeowners out of their homes, and (teachers) need to start caring about the public and not just themselves,” Powers said.

Superintendent Paul Perzanoski said it’s important to have thick skin when someone publicly criticizes the school district, especially when what they’ve said isn’t factual.

“A lot of the information they are bringing to the podium isn’t necessarily accurate,” he said following the meeting.

“When they try to make a point and are emotional, they tend to embellish what’s really there, so I try and keep that in perspective.”

Perzanoski said he agrees that there are plenty of people in the community struggling financially, and it disturbs him when the federal and state government don’t do their “fair share.”

Last year, Brunswick voters approved a $28 million bond to build a new elementary school. The school, scheduled to open in 2020, will replace the 63-year-old Coffin School, which currently uses 40-year-old modular classrooms for its students.

The school will be built — without state funding — on the site of the former Jordan Acres School, which closed suddenly in 2011 after a ceiling beam cracked and engineers deemed the building unsafe.

According to the district, demolition of the Jordan Acres School will take place this spring and new construction is set to begin in late June.

The district is accepting suggestions for the name of the new school until April 28. The board will vote at its May 9 meeting.

The Town Council will hold another budget workshop on April 26, and the public hearing on the school budget is scheduled for May 3.