Glenburn meeting a primer on three-school consolidation

Posted Jan. 13, 2009, at 8:02 p.m.

School officials in Glenburn will hold an informational meeting tonight to discuss the proposal to form a regional school unit with the communities of Orono and Veazie.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Glenburn school gymnasium. The session is intended to help inform the public and answer residents’ questions before voters in the three towns weigh in on the consolidation plan Jan. 27.

A regional planning committee with representatives from the three towns spent nearly a year drafting the plan to consolidate the Orono, Veazie and Glenburn school systems into what they are calling the Riverside Regional School Unit.

Maine Department of Education officials signed off on the plan in November, however voters in all three towns must approve the consolidation.

Regional planning committee members believe the consolidation plan eventually will reduce costs in a variety of ways, including: eliminating duplicative administrative services, creating more efficiency by negotiating one collective bargaining agreement with schools’ employees, elimination of redundancy in transportation and maintenance and enabling additional bulk purchasing.

Students in Glenburn and Veazie will retain the ability to choose which high school they want to attend under the consolidation plan. The state law that guided the consolidation process statewide protected educational programming during the cuts.

Approximately 25 people attended an informational session held last week in Orono. A third informational session is planned for Veazie residents at 7 p.m. Thursday, in the Veazie school cafeteria.

For more information on the consolidation plan, go to www.orono.u87.k12.me.us/RPC/index.html.

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